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Hewitt replaced by Hymans at University of Exeter

UK - The £65m (€95.64m) University of Exeter Retirement Benefits Scheme (ERBS) has replaced its investment consultant Hewitt Bacon & Woodrow, the UK business of Hewitt Associates, as part of an on-going review of service providers.

Hymans Robertson has been appointed in Hewitt's place following a tender process in which the scheme's trustees approached six firms and eventually shortlisted three.

"Hewitt, which had been with the scheme since the late 1990s, was shortlisted as well, but following the beauty parade the trustees decided to make the change," said Keith Blanchard, secretary to the trustees.

Blanchard, a former director of finance at the university, told IPE in an interview today: "The trustees have decided to test the market for the provision of all admin support services, and this is the first in the process of a series of tender testing exercises that will take place in the next month or so."

He added: "There have been elements of performance regarding Hewitt, but that wasn't the fundamental reason to test the market. The fundamental reason was that it is good practice to test the market every six or seven years."

The trustees, who are now also looking to review their investment strategy, decided to replace their investment advice provider first following an actuarial review at the end of 2006.

"A similar exercise will be undertaken for the actuarial services and pension scheme administration, and for the accountancy services, for which I'm hoping to get out with information to selected firms in April," said Blanchard.

Hewitt Bacon & Woodrow also acts as the scheme's actuary and scheme administrator, he added.

Hymans Robertson has already started working on a review of the scheme's investment strategy.

According to Blanchard it is possible that the fund's investment managers will be replaced. BlackRock is responsible for the scheme's equity investments, currently around 75% of the scheme, and Barclays Global Investors (BGI), manages the gilts and bonds portfolio.

"They are the managers at the moment, but once we have been through the review of the investment strategy, which Hymans Robertson are now working on, then the next stage on from there is to decide which are the best managers to fulfil that strategy and which investment type the trustees should be going for," said Blanchard.
Hewitt replaced by Hymans at University of Exeter

UK - The £65m (€95.64m) University of Exeter Retirement Benefits Scheme (ERBS) has replaced its investment consultant Hewitt Bacon & Woodrow, the UK business of Hewitt Associates, as part of an on-going review of service providers.

Hymans Robertson has been appointed in Hewitt's place following a tender process in which the scheme's trustees approached six firms and eventually shortlisted three.

"Hewitt, which had been with the scheme since the late 1990s, was shortlisted as well, but following the beauty parade the trustees decided to make the change," said Keith Blanchard, secretary to the trustees.

Blanchard, a former director of finance at the university, told IPE in an interview today: "The trustees have decided to test the market for the provision of all admin support services, and this is the first in the process of a series of tender testing exercises that will take place in the next month or so."

He added: "There have been elements of performance regarding Hewitt, but that wasn't the fundamental reason to test the market. The fundamental reason was that it is good practice to test the market every six or seven years."

The trustees, who are now also looking to review their investment strategy, decided to replace their investment advice provider first following an actuarial review at the end of 2006.

"A similar exercise will be undertaken for the actuarial services and pension scheme administration, and for the accountancy services, for which I'm hoping to get out with information to selected firms in April," said Blanchard.

Hewitt Bacon & Woodrow also acts as the scheme's actuary and scheme administrator, he added.

Hymans Robertson has already started working on a review of the scheme's investment strategy.

According to Blanchard it is possible that the fund's investment managers will be replaced. BlackRock is responsible for the scheme's equity investments, currently around 75% of the scheme, and Barclays Global Investors (BGI), manages the gilts and bonds portfolio.

"They are the managers at the moment, but once we have been through the review of the investment strategy, which Hymans Robertson are now working on, then the next stage on from there is to decide which are the best managers to fulfil that strategy and which investment type the trustees should be going for," said Blanchard.

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