UK – WM Co., charged by parent State Street with moving “up the value chain”, is looking at various new products.
Mike Gregson, head of information services at the Edinburgh-based performance measurement firm, said: “We are looking at a number of different products.”
Gregson was not able to comment on reports that WM is examining ways of measuring consultants’ performance.
In August, State Street said that WM’s managing director, Peter Adams, would have the additional role of aligning State Street and WM’s pension capabilities across the organisation.
State Street acquired WM as part of the 1.5 billion-dollar deal to buy Deutsche Bank’s fund administration services last November. In April, State Street Corp. senior vice president Jeff Conway said that WM needed to “move up the value chain”.
The idea of rating investment consultants has been on the table for some time, and consultants have responded by releasing data on their performance.
For instance, Mercer Investment Consulting discloses the value it adds through its manager research picks while Watson Wyatt releases results of its “model portfolio”, which are verified by Deloitte & Touche.
Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s also declined to elaborate on reports it was planning to rate consultants. “We’re always looking at areas where our analysis can add value,” said Martin Winn, director of communications for S&P in Europe.
Rating consultants’ performance may prove difficult in practice due to the nature of trustees’ decision-making.