UK - The Merchant Navy Officers' Pension Fund (MNOPF) has appointed Hymans Robertson to monitor and challenge the decisions made by its delegated chief investment officer Towers Watson.

The £3.3bn (€3.7bn) pension scheme announced today that a team led by Hymans board member John Dickson has been appointed as independent investment adviser. MNOPF chief executive Andrew Waring told IPE in October last year that an appointment would be made and said there was a need to introduce a "check and balance element".

MNOPF said it was setting a "new standard" for investment governance, adding that it recognised the need for expert monitoring of the delegated chief investment officer.

Waring told IPE that IC Select was chosen to advise on the mandate during the forth quarter of last year and launched a three month search in January, in which five companies participated.

William Everard, chairman of the scheme's investment committee, said that Hymans services would make a good addition to existing internal resources.

He added: "We are at the leading edge of fiduciary management in the UK and we are committed to maintaining the strong governance for which we are known."

Roger Urwin, global head of investment content at Towers Watson, said the introduction of an independent investment adviser made "perfect sense", while Dickson added: "Being appointed to monitor the delegated CIO arrangements represents the final piece in the Fund's governance jigsaw."

He predicted that other pension funds would do well to consider following MNOPF's lead by making similar appointments.

Towers Watson was re-appointed as delegated CIO in October last year, having acted as investment adviser to the scheme since 1990.