EUROPE – Andrew Dyson, head of institutional business at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers in Europe, has explained his ideas about a “new model” for the relationship between investment consultants and asset managers.

“We believe that working in partnership we can get better results for our mutual clients,” Dyson, a former consultant at Mercer, told IPE in an interview.

He cited the example of how MLIM has worked in a collaborative way with a client and consultant on solving the client’s needs. “A significant majority of consultants buy into this.”

“I think most consultants are embracing this new model,” he said. He said the relationship between client and manager could get “too linear” in that the manager is too far away from the client. He backed a more “triangular model” with manager, client and consultant working together.

“Nobody has a monopoly of good ideas,” he added.

But he conceded that there could be a “bit of friction” at the margin, where conflicts can come into play. He was wary of situations where consultants can act as both ‘judge and jury’.

Dyson joined MLIM in 2001. He joined Mercer in 1991 – rising to head of UK pension funds and head of US multinational investment consulting based in New York.