Habitat appoints SEI as fiduciary manager
UK - SEI has been appointed as the fiduciary manager to the £24m (€26m) Habitat UK Pension and Life Assurance Plan.
SEI will replace both the pension scheme's existing investment consultant and the investment managers with its manager-of-managers process, as part of the full fiduciary management contract.
Malcolm Curzon, chairman of trustees of the Habitat UK Pension and Life Assurance Plan, said they opted for a fiduciary management approach "because as a trustee body we wanted the opportunity to be able to focus on strategic issues whilst outsourcing the day-to-day pensions management to an expert partner".
He added: "We also felt that an approach combining advice and implementation could provide cost savings and ensure more focus on achieving our overall goals both for the company and the pension scheme. We selected SEI because of their significant track record in fiduciary management globally and the quality of their manager-of-managers investment process."
In providing a full fiduciary management service, SEI's responsibilities include advising on asset and liability matching strategies; constructing an efficient investment portfolio; selecting managers to run the portfolio and, monitoring and replacing investment managers through its manager-of-managers investment process.
Meanwhile SEI, whose fiduciary management business secured over £4.8bn of new assets in 2008, is also expected to take on the management of Habitat's defined contribution (DC) pension scheme, which would entail providing advice and implementation through a range of manager-of-managers funds.
Patrick Disney, managing director of institutional business for EMEA at SEI, claimed: "The recent turbulence in markets coupled with increasing complexity and regulation has shown the flaws in the traditional pension fund management model and the need for a new approach to assist pension fund trustees in achieving good governance. We look forward to working with Habitat to achieve their goals."
The appointment of SEI as a full fiduciary manager follows the recent decision by Asda's £1bn pension scheme to award a 'solvency management' mandate, a type of fiduciary management, to Cardano, in January. (See earlier IPE article: Asda taps Cardano for 'new-style' mandate)
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