DENMARK- Benefit consultant Willis Denmark has signed an agreement with Alfred Berg and ABN Amro Asset Management in a move that gives its unit link clients access to tactical and strategic asset allocation. Willis says the agreement is designed to offer a more comprehensive and sophisticated product.
Jorgen Leschly, head of funds and investment, says: “ABN Amro and Alfred Berg will not determine which funds will be used in unit link plans, they will only determine the benchmarks and the strategic and tactical asset allocations according to a specific risk level.”
Willis is also extending its existing agreement with Jesper Kirstein’s advisory company Kirstein Finansradgivning which offers fund ratings. Henceforth, Kirstein will offer fund selection recommendations, based on the prescribed benchmark and risk levels.
The move makes it one of the few Danish companies offering manager selection, monitoring and advice on risk levels and strategic and tactical allocation. “We’re taking a lot of the stress of having a unit linked plan away from the client,” says Leschly.
Willis signalled its intention to break into Denmark’s growing investment consulting and unit-linked market when it bought Leschly’s advisory company DCG Consulting at the end of last year.
Willis has also recruited Hans Henrik Bloksgaard from Mercers to market and promote the new package while Jorgen Svendsen has joined from PFA as head of actuarial finance.
Denmark has been host to a dramatic switch from guaranteed products to unit linked products. Willis said last October that the deal would enable it to begin offering advice on the DC funds’ manager selection.