Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund (MNRPF) has selected Schroders as fiduciary manager following an “open and competitive” tender process.

The fund, which has around £1bn in assets, said that Schroders Solutions demonstrated it understood the trustee’s needs and journey plan.

As part of the appointment, Schroders will also provide a “robust investment platform”, which is aligned with the trustee’s socially responsible investing (SRI) aspirations, and can support the trustee’s ongoing governance needs through its digital reporting suite.

As fiduciary manager and asset manager, Schroders will be responsible for assisting the trustee in evolving and implementing the fund’s investment strategy. This includes access to Schroders’ broader suite of services including liability-driven investments (LDI), buy and maintain credit, and structured equity.

It added that Schroders will take on responsibility for the scheme’s private markets allocation as part of its new fiduciary mandate.

Doug Ross, chair of the trustee at MNRPF, said: “During the very competitive selection process, the trustee learned that there were high quality alternatives on a par with our current provider.”

WTW has previously acted as fiduciary manager for the pension fund since being appointed in 2014.

Ross added that leaving WTW was a “very tough” decision for the trustees to make, particularly given the broader relationship it has with the fund and the “excellent service” it has provided over the years. He said trustees were “unanimous” in this decision, however.

The trustees have previously committed to reviewing the appointment in 2021 as part of the fund’s good governance framework. MNRPF said this change does not affect the other existing relationships between the scheme and WTW, as the firm will continue in partnership to deliver actuarial, data and employer liaison services.

Ajeet Manjrekar, head of UK client solutions at Schroders, said: “Today’s announcement is further testament to the strength of our offering and focus on working closely with trustees to understand their needs and help them navigate their complex investment challenges.”

Manjrekar added that the diversity of assets within the MNRPF portfolio demonstrates its ability to invest and strategically advise across a range of assets to deliver a full-service investment solution.

He said: “We are grateful for the trust placed in us and look forward to working closely with the trustee to help them meet their investment objectives.”

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