UK - Merrill Lynch Investment Managers has appointed DC Link to administer its defined contribution.

DC Link, part of the Alexander Forbes group which includes actuary Lane Clark & Peacock, will administer more than 300 of Merrill’s DC schemes for more than 20,000 individuals. This number is “expected to grow significantly over time”.

Financial details of the long-term contract were not disclosed. Client implementation will start in the first quarter of 2004 and take until September.

Services would be individually tailored to the needs of each client and will continue to be provided in MLIM's name, MLIM said.

"After extensive research across the market, we believe that DC Link has the best platform to accommodate and meet the needs and service levels our DC clients expect,” said Steve Rumbles, MLIM’s DC director.

“We are particularly impressed by the technology DC Link employs, giving trustees and members access to real time information.”

"We have invested over 20 million pounds in our IT infrastructure in recent years combining a world class software package and bespoke development, backed by an experienced and dedicated team of DC pensions professionals,” added DC Link chief operating officer Alan Mowat.

“This long-term commitment to the business and our ability to fully resource MLIM's needs with proven functionality and existing systems were fundamental to our appointment.”

DC Link was bought by South Africa-based Alexander Forbes in September 2002.