UK – Former Mercer worldwide partner Keith Faulkner has set up his own firm advising clients how to deal with pension advisers.

Pension Adviser Review aims to provide “independent and conflict-free professional advice on the selection and on-going management of pension and other employee benefit advisers”.

Faulkner, who was UK head of client management at Mercer and was also with consulting firm Milliman, told IPE that the venture has just started and has no clients yet. It would target medium to large companies, he said.

Work would be carried out on a fixed fee basis negotiated ahead of time, although the service was more about managing relations with suppliers.

It would enable clients to “outsource the day-to-day dealing with pension consultants”.

The firm has allied with four companies: EPIC Investment Consulting, the Pension Fund Partnership, Benefits Services and OAC Plc.

PAR’s website says it is estimated that employers and trustees pay about £2.5bn each year to actuaries, pension advisers, investment consultants, pension administrators, communications professionals and others.

It says some consultants charge “excessive costs” and provide poor service and make mistakes.

PAR will not consult on pensions and benefits directly but only on the “appropriateness, performance and cost-effectiveness of advisers who do provide these services”.