GLOBAL – The head of Watson Wyatt’s global investment consulting business says there is a sense of “real uncertainty” over the pensions industry – and that maintaining the status quo is not an option.

“As a sense of real uncertainty continues to stalk the pensions industry, it is hard to see the way ahead,” Roger Urwin says. “However what is clear that maintaining the status quo is not an attractive option and that those players prepared to pursue an agenda of change are most likely to prosper.”

Urwin says individual success in this new environment will be the result of vision and adaptability. “I think success for the whole industry requires a rather different answer…Success will be emerging from these travails with a more efficient structure for all stakeholders. For efficiency I read lower cost, greater governance and better focus.”

Urwin’s remarks come in an article in the new 2003 edition of “International Pension Funds and their Advisors” published by Aspire Publications, a joint venture between IPE International Publishers and AP Information Services. Price for the guide, now in its fourth edition, is 365 pounds (519 euros).

According to the guide, Europe’s largest 10 pension funds are: ABP, Statens Petroleumsfond, British Telecom, PGGM, Coal Pension Trustees, Universities Superannuation Scheme, Danish labour scheme APT, Electricity Pensions Services, ITP/Alecta and Hamburg Mannheimer.

The guide has grown in scope, now covering 3,500 pension funds in 50 countries worldwide, covering western Europe, central and eastern Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific and Africa says project editor Derek Kelly. The guide has grown to 1,248 pages - up from the previous edition’s 1,170.

New European coverage includes Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Slovakia as well as the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey.

“The fourth edition of ‘International Pension Funds and their Advisors’ continues our founding aim in which we set out to improve the depth and breadth of information available on the world’s major pension funds and the service providers,” Kelly says.