UK - Pension trustees in the UK are spending far too little time on investment, according to Aon Hewitt.

A recent study by the consultancy found that nearly 80% of trustees spend fewer than 20 hours per quarter on investment-related matters.

The study also found that a quarter of trustees dedicate five hours or less to investment matters each quarter.

Almost three-quarters of respondents said the percentage of investment experts sitting on trustee boards was 25% or less - even though the boards are expecting to conduct major investment reviews some time next year, Aon Hewitt said. 

Zuhair Mohammed, chief executive of delegated consulting services for the UK, said the challenges faced by defined benefit schemes had placed increasing pressure on trustees. 

"Managing market volatility will undoubtedly be a key theme for the foreseeable future - and that requires investment skill and conviction," he said.

"What is clear from our survey is that the time devoted to investment matters and the level of investment expertise permanently on trustee boards is simply falling short of what is required."

In other news, Skandia Investment Group (SIG) has terminated a €38m multi-manager mandate with Gartmore to "protect" its investors.

This morning, Gartmore announced that Roger Guy, manager of its £3.5bn (€4.1bn) European Large Cap team, had decided to retire after 17 years at the asset manager.

Shares in the company fell by as much as 20% on Monday with the news of his departure, set for some time early next year.

Jeffrey Meyer, chief executive at Gartmore, confirmed he was looking into the possibility of selling or merging the company.

James Millard, chief investment officer at SIG, said: "As a result of the developments at Gartmore, we have terminated our 10-stock, €38m mandate run by Roger Guy within our €325m Skandia European Best Ideas fund."

Millard said the eight remaining European managers would continue to run the fund and that the European Best Ideas remained "well diversified and well positioned".

He added: "Within our other multi-manager funds, we currently have a further £150m invested across several mandates run by Gartmore that are not directly affected by the announcements.

"We will continue to monitor the situation and not hesitate to take appropriate action should we deem it necessary."
SIG said it would allocate the monies equally to the remaining eight managers immediately and consider adding managers from its "reserve bench".

Finally, the introduction of auto-enrolment is expected to see job opportunities for consultancies increase, according to a survey by the Pensions Management Institute.

Conducting a survey on the employability of pension experts, it found that the ongoing changes to the industry were likely to mean more employment opportunities as employers sought to understand changes.

Vince Linnane, chief executive at the PMI, said: "Continued change appears to be the watchword for defined contribution pensions over the next few years, not least in the area of auto-enrolment.

"A large proportion of respondents to our survey expect to be directly affected in their work because of the forthcoming reforms, and it's important firms and individuals prepare accordingly."