IRELAND – Fiona Daly, the former investment head at Heissman Consultants in Ireland, has set up her own firm called Rubicon.

Daly, 29, launched Rubicon Investment Consulting this week together with software engineer Steven Harford. It would just offer investment as opposed to pensions consulting, she told IPE.

“This is an important area for pension schemes especially. I have seen that there is lots of demand for investment consulting services,” she said.

“This has been partly driven by the offering and promotion of these services by the largest pension consultancy (Mercer), and partly by demand from pension schemes who have seen large surpluses become large deficits in recent years.

“Following the downturn in the equity market in 2000, trustees have become painfully aware of the need to pay as much attention to their scheme’s assets as they do to the scheme’s liabilities,” she explained.

Daly was instrumental in the establishment, development and organisation of the investment consulting department of Heissmann Consultants Ireland (formerly Buck Heissmann).

She left in June this year after five years as head of investment consulting, and has been replaced by actuary Denis Lyons, 26, who is currently acting head of the department.

Rubicon is not initially aiming to compete with large consulting firms such as Mercer, Hewitt Associates and Watson Wyatt.

Instead, it is aiming to attract small to mid level schemes, whose needs are not being met by the larger players.

“Overall our goal is to establish ourselves as a serious player in the marketplace, and to be recognised and considered as one of the top four investment consultancies in Ireland,” Daly added.

Rubicon will also shortly be approaching between five to 10 pension consultants about the possibility of working together to broaden the product range and enhance services. No names could be given.

“By offering these services through schemes’ existing pensions advisors, we believe that the relationship between these advisors and their clients will become stronger,” she explained.