UK - Fiduciary managers in the UK are partnering increasingly with custodians for governance roles and cost savings, according to research by Spence Johnson.
The institutional investment research provider said custodians were increasingly selected as preferred partners in fiduciary manager appointments.
Nigel Birch, director, said: "In 80% of the fiduciary management appointments we analysed, the custodian was the preferred partner included in the mandate, rather than being selected after the appointment. Our results also show this has been particularly true since 2009."
Birch said there were "clear benefits" for a scheme in having this structure.
"By leveraging the existing infrastructure and partnership between fiduciary manager and custodian, schemes can benefit from a more effective and cost-efficient service," he said.
"But perhaps most important, from a governance perspective, schemes are re-assured by an independent third party involved in the reporting process."
The research tracked and collected information from 29 fiduciary management providers across Europe, representing 517 institutional investors with more than €760bn in combined AUM.
In other news, changes to the IAS19 accounting standards will incentivise further de-risking in the pension industry, as it could increase profits on a company's balance sheet, according to research by PensionsFirst.
The company said removing the current rule that 'expected return' of scheme assets must be taken into account and instead replacing it with a calculation of the interest paid on scheme assets, as based on AA-rated discount rates, could see as much as 10% of FTSE 100 companies profit.
PensionsFirst said schemes with a lower-risk investment strategy could therefore see AA-rated bond yields outperform scheme returns.
Matthew Furniss, assistant vice-president, said the change would affect schemes that had matched their assets more closely to their liabilities.
"As a result of being invested predominantly in lower-risk assets such as gilts - which may not be expected to yield the same levels as highly rated corporate bonds - such companies will therefore experience increased profits as a result of the accounting changes," he said.
"This can only incentivise more de-risking within the pensions industry."
Finally, Mercer is to launch a diversified growth fund, with the consultancy saying it will form the basis of its recently launched workplace savings solution.
It said the new fund would form the basis for the default option within its new solution.
While the fund's asset allocation will be actively managed internally, the individual building blocks of the investment strategy will stem from passive funds - similar to arrangements agreed by the National Employment Savings Trust and with the aim of minimising management fees.
Mercer said the scheme would aim to outperform the three-month LIBOR by 3.5% per annum over five years, while allowing for a volatility of up to 12%.
The consultancy's workplace savings solution was launched in late February, aiming to take advantage of the auto-enrolment reforms.
As part of its expansion in the area, BlackRock's former head of DC sales Emma Douglas joined Mercer in March.