Cookson appoints BlackRock as fiduciary of pension scheme
UK - The Cookson Group has appointed BlackRock as fiduciary manager of its £460m defined benefit pension plan.
The FTSE250 company said it had opted for fiduciary management to achieve its funding objectives and enable it to react quickly to changing market conditions.
Pension fund officials said they had been working closely with BlackRock for the last year to create a customised and flexible fiduciary solution that would evolve in line with the plan's long-term requirements.
The trustee board and BlackRock each have clearly defined responsibilities, with BlackRock providing advice and being responsible for implementing the trustee-approved investment portfolio design, while the trustee board will concentrate on more strategic elements.
Allan Course, chairman of the trustee board, said: "We decided the best route for us would be to work with a trusted partner who could help us navigate the challenges presented by the markets and the plan.
"It was important for us to work with an asset manager that could bring a market practitioner perspective to investment strategy and implementation.
"BlackRock's deep and practical understanding of fiduciary management, investment expertise and risk management systems and culture made it the ideal choice."
Michael Marks, chief operating officer of BlackRock's fiduciary mandate investment team, said: "Fiduciary management is an increasingly attractive option for plans facing the challenges of uncertain markets and increasingly complex regulation.
"It is important to recognise it is more than a simple outsourcing arrangement - a fiduciary relationship is a partnership, in which the pension plan and fiduciary manager work together to create a bespoke proposition, tailored to the plan's individual requirements.
"The Cookson plan is the third UK plan to appoint BlackRock as its fiduciary manager, and other UK plans are likely to follow suit as the advantages of fiduciary management become apparent."
The Cookson plan is the third UK plan to appoint BlackRock as its fiduciary manager, the others being PA Pension Trustees and Henkel.