Merchant Navy test drives new model with Towers Watson at the helm

Tue Jul 3, 2012

In a novel twist where one consultant oversees another consultant, risk falls and returns rise as Navy pension fund sails into hedge funds

By Claire Makin

Pieter Steyn
Andrew Waring
Andrew Waring became chief executive of the $5.5 billion Merchant Navy Officers’ Pension Fund (MNOPF) in March 2008 and quickly realised that its governance structure needed a fairly urgent overhaul. "It was not clear who was taking responsibility for investment decisions," Waring says.

This was not ideal at a time when the sound of crashing markets could be heard around the world. So in October 2008 the UK-based MNOPF delegated the chief investment officer function to its longstanding consultant, Towers Watson.

Two years later, Towers Watson was re-appointed after a full-scale search for a fiduciary manager led by KPMG, which made headlines and saw Towers Watson beat BlackRock at the final hurdle.

In an unexpected twist, the MNOPF then hired a second investment adviser, Hymans Robertson, in June 2011 to act as a check on the power now delegated to Towers. "There is...

ISSN: 2151-1845 / CDC10004H

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