EUROPE - Investment & Pensions Europe Magazine (IPE) – parent magazine to, has announced the first awards ceremony specifically for Europe’s pension funds, with the aim of setting an industry benchmark for excellence in scheme management.

The awards will draw together a prestigious judging roster of more than 60 consultants in the pensions industry to serve on panels for each country, with the winners announced during the gala IPE-Awards dinner in Brussels on November 27.

IPE is establishing the awards as an annual event, in recognition of the hard work and creative thinking that goes into the running of Europe’s pension funds.

Don Ezra, director of strategic advice at consultant Frank Russell Company, has heralded the announcement of the awards ceremony: “ I congratulate you for putting this together. It’s an excellent initiative and deserves to be taken very seriously.
“ It should be an important encouragement for trustees to do the best they can, and also for them to be able to benchmark what they do against those judged to be the best.”

The IPE-Awards will cover 16 markets across Europe, providing the opportunity for pension funds to be judged against their peers on a country-by-country basis.
Countries included in the IPE-Awards are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

There are two broad awards categories per country: ‘Leaders in Fund Structure and Administration’ and ’Leaders in Investment Strategy’.
Pension funds are invited to submit applications for the awards that will be marked independently by the judging panels in each country.

The marks will then be aggregated by IPE and up to two ‘Leaders’ may be selected for each category. A senior representative of each winning fund will be invited (all costs paid) to attend the IPE-Awards ceremony to receive their title.
The country ‘Leaders’ for each category will then be judged by a specially invited European panel and up to three overall ‘European Leaders’ will be selected in each category.

Consultants confirmed so far to serve as judges on the judging panels are: AUSTRIA: Constantia Neuberger, Dr. Heubeck Ges., Aon Jauch & Hubener, IPC Austria. BELGIUM: Conac SC, M&P Consult , Pragma Consulting, PricewaterhouseCoopers. DENMARK: Alcifor, Kirstein Finans, KPMG, SB Aktuar-Radgivning. FINLAND: Aon Finland. FRANCE: Assurance Saint-Honoré, Fixage, M. Berthon, Watson Wyatt. GERMANY: Bode Gabner/Watson Wyatt, Hofer Vorsorge-Mngmnt, Dr. Heissmann GmbH.
IRELAND: Aon Beech Hill, Coyle Hamilton, L&P Financial Trustees, W M Mercer. NETHERLANDS: Aon Consulting, Consultas NV, Kamerbeek Pension.
NORWAY: Wassum. SWEDEN: Alcifor Advisory Assoc., Watson Wyatt. SWITZERLAND: Buck Heissmann, Complementa AG, MBS Capital. UNITED KINGDOM: Bacon & Woodrow, W M. Mercer, Watson Wyatt. EUROPE: Frank Russell Company, Pragma Consulting.
Pension funds interested in receiving an application form should contact IPE:
Tel: +44(0)20 7261 0666
Fax: +44 (0)20 7261 1666