UK – Northamptonshire County Council pension fund has put out to tender a mandate for a scheme actuary to replace Watson Wyatt.

The fund, which was valued at 710 million pounds (one billion euros) as of March 2002, is looking for an actuary to replace Watson Wyatt following the firm’s decision to pull out of the UK local authority pension fund market.

A minimum of five suppliers will be invited to tender, and applications must be received by August 14.

In April, Watson Wyatt said it was withdrawing from the one million-pound (1.45 million euro) business of providing actuarial consulting to UK local authorities. It had 21 local authority pension fund clients and intends to have terminated all actuarial arrangements by October.

A spokesman at Watson Wyatt said the consultant wanted “to focus its research and development capabilities elsewhere,” adding that the market for providing actuarial services to local authorities is a specialised one.

Watson will continue to provide investment-consulting services to local authority pension funds, including asset liability modelling studies. It will also continue to provide other consulting services to local authorities.

"Our involvement with local authority pension funds has been declining in recent years and, when coupled with the growth of our firm, this now represents a small part of our business," said Hugh Chambers, a partner at Watson Wyatt.