Responding to courage and vision
Courage and vision are the two key attributes that the management of Pension Fund Services (PFS), the pension fund company created by the boards of the three main pension schemes in the Swissair group following the latter’s demise last year, believes convinced the judges to give PFS the IPE Award for fund administration.
“It was just two weeks after the collapse that the boards of the three funds got together to launch their rescue plan. They were taking on 20,000 active beneficiaries plus an asset base of some €7bn without a plan sponsor. That showed great courage and the IPE Award is first and foremost a sweet acknowledgement of their vision,” says Reto Kuhn of PFS.
Kuhn adds the alternative would have been the gradual phasing out of assets, members and pensioners to insurance companies, signalling the demise of the funds alongside their former parent. “That was not an acceptable option.”
One year later and PFS is already the largest company of its type in Switzerland offering outsourcing products and services to pension funds. “All the large companies in the airline and related industries in Switzerland have entrusted PFS to provide payroll services and help establish new pension schemes. The IPE Award is a clear demonstration of the confidence our clients already have in our abilities,” says Kuhn.
Lastly but no less importantly, Kuhn praises the effort and hard work of all of PFS employees and its business associates, such as investment managers and consultants. “By recruiting the same staff that worked at the three funds, PFS ensured that the quality of its services could be maintained without daily. Within days of Swissair’s collapse, we had signed co-operation agreements with investment consultants and laid plans for the integration of IT systems. This award is a recognition and acknowledgement of the endurance and great team sprit shown by everyone involved in establishing PFS. Moreover, it will undoubtedly act as a great future motivator,” Kuhn says.