UK – Consultant William M.Mercer has teamed up with multi-manager outfit Attica Asset management to launch a new investment service, Mercer 360, for smaller defined benefit (DB) pension plans in the UK.

The partnership aims to combine Mercer’s investment consulting and analytical resources with the fund management platform of Attica in one package, which will include the establishment of an asset allocation
strategy to meet each scheme's own characteristics.

Andrew Kirton, Head of Mercer’s UK investment consulting practice, says that rising pension costs in a competitive, low-inflation world are emphasising the importance for pension funds in maintaining high quality and well-managed investment arrangements.

He adds: “Fulfilling trustee investment responsibilities has never
been more challenging.
"The Myners principles underline the importance of effective investment
decision-making and support. For some time, we’ve been investigating ways in which compliance with these principles might best be achieved by our clients, regardless of size.
“The resulting service incorporates an element of delegated decision-making, and is aimed at supporting organisations with constraints on internal pension resources - typically those running smaller pension schemes.”

Kirton believes that Mercer 360 will enable trustees to focus on their primary responsibility – that of pension fund governance and compliance with the Myners requirements.