UK - The London Borough of Newham has axed consultancy firm Hymans Robertson as actuarial services provider for its £500m (€719m) defined benefit scheme - the fund has appointed Mercer instead.

Hymans Robertson provided actuarial and consultancy advice for seven years before losing the nine-bid tender earlier this month.

A Mercer spokeswoman said feedback from Newham had focused on the strength and “right fit” of the pitch team.

A council committee report cited Mercer’s attention to technical detail during the procurement process. Despite demanding higher costs than other bidders and losing out to Bacon Hewitt & Woodrow in the quality of its presentation, the Mercer team members “appear enthusiastic and keen to work with the Newham team”, the report said.

Mercer has already appointed a scheme actuary to head a core team of five people, with the services of 20 more in reserve.