How We Work
We partner with you for the long term, working with you towards better outcomes for you and your stakeholders.
Offering a better way of managing a pension plan starting with the basic services that all plan sponsors require to the customized strategic consulting relevant to your unique needs.
Helping you maximize results for your objectives
Working closely with your team, we provide recurring services timely and efficiently to remove all headaches and stress from the ongoing work. We focus on understanding your long-term goals, immediate needs, and constraints and we only recommend strategies that specifically meet this criteria. We help you understand the pros and cons of each relevant strategy, so you can make informed decisions to achieve your goals and deliver successful outcomes for you and your plan participants.
Standard actuarial services
- Funding valuation (data preparation and review, reconciliations, liability calculations, AFTAP certification, plan sponsor elections, report, etc.)
- Financial reporting under US GAAP, IFRS, and CAS for defined benefit plans and other non-qualified pension or other post-employment benefit (OPEB) plans
- Plan audit (ASC 960 and routine auditor requests)
- Government reporting (Full Form 5500 including schedules and attachments, Form 8955-SSA, PBGC)
- Annual Funding Notice
- Non-discrimination testing
- Participant benefit statements
- Special accounting calculations (e.g. curtailment, settlement)
- Special government reporting due to corporate action or plan status (e.g. reportable event, PBGC 4010, 4062(e) event)
Strategic Consulting Services
- Risk transfer initiatives, including lump sum cash-out windows and annuity purchases
- Plan design studies
- Contribution or expense projections
- Data cleanup projects
- Plan termination services and filings
Plan administration services
- Collecting and maintaining participant database, through automated payroll feeds
- Benefit calculations and election forms, including non-routine calculations (e.g. late retirements, QDROs, disability retirements, and death benefits)
- Death audits and address searches
- Administration web portal available to plan sponsor to access participant database, run benefit estimates/calculations, create benefit election forms, access documents and statements
- Administration web portal available to participants to run benefit estimates/calculations, request benefit election forms, access plan documents and individual statements
- Participant call center to field questions, data changes, and benefit requests
- Fulfillment of participant communications, outreach for benefit commencements, and tracking for missing addresses
- Election forms processing
- Trustee/custodian coordination
- QDRO determinations
We provide all levels of administration outsourcing for defined benefit plans and customize our service offering to meet our clients’ exact needs. Ask about our back-office support, partially outsourced, and fully outsourced arrangements.
Macro Investment Strategies
Helping you generate long-term returns while managing short-term risks, using our macroeconomic thinking and taking a dynamic approach to investments.
In our experience, one of the biggest issues facing investors is the challenge of generating enough return to meet their objectives. We believe an understanding of the macro environment is key to doing this.
We have been successfully managing multi-asset portfolios using our macro thinking since 2003, giving us a fundamental understanding of how to rotate capital across the full asset class spectrum, built across multiple market cycles.
Our approach today combines this macro expertise with our capabilities across security selection and hedging, and importantly draws on our ability to understand our clients’ needs.
Pension Annuity Purchase
We are dedicated to making the annuity purchase process simple and transparent for pension plan sponsors and their advisors.
We believe that advising on annuity purchases is a fiduciary function, which is why we sign on as a co-fiduciary in our client engagements.
By combining the thinking and experience from our actuarial and investment professionals, you benefit from our thorough understanding of the insurer marketplace and all aspects of pension plan management. This means you have access to optimal pricing that routinely produces pricing below the mark-to-market liability for in-pay benefits and pricing below a 10% premium for deferred benefits.
Pension Plan Termination
Helping you successfully navigate all stages of plan terminations, our focus is on helping you successfully navigate the process at the end of your pension plan, as you benefit from our combined actuarial and investment management expertise.
Experienced in partnering with plan sponsors through termination
You have full access to the expertise we bring through our thorough understanding of the specific requirements of implementing a plan termination. Our consultative approach to managing both the liability and asset sides of the funded status equation has helped countless plan sponsors successfully navigate the entire plan termination journey.
As part of the termination process, we also routinely sign on as a co-fiduciary with the plan’s fiduciaries in selecting the safest available annuity provider. We have detailed our analysis in a comprehensive report which documents the key criteria in selecting the annuity provider as required by the Department of Labor in their Interpretive Bulletin 95-1 (selecting the safest available annuity provider). You can also access detailed information that we collect regarding each insurer’s on-boarding process, their investment structure, the enterprise risk management structure of the company, and experience and administrative capabilities.
We partner with you to understand your unique circumstances and help you through your termination process.
Preparing for a successful plan termination takes time and effort. You can find out how prepared you are to start your termination journey through our Termination Readiness Assessment, where our team of experts analyze your entire plan within four critical areas we have identified in helping plan sponsors successfully terminate their plans.
It is crucial to complete all your regulatory filings, participant notices and numerous deadlines timely and correctly.
After an often lengthy implementation process, distributions can be made to the participants that elected termination. For others that choose to remain, the selection of an insurer who will pay annuities, is a critical fiduciary decision.
We help institutional investors manage long-term risks to meet their investment objectives.
Derivatives strategies can help to flexibly manage the most prominent risks and liabilities that institutional investors have to contend with, while maintaining a focus on maximizing long-term returns. Our approach is built around your specific needs, to ensure creative solutions tailored to your objectives.
Innovative derivatives solutions built around your needs, allowing you to remain focused on achieving your long-term return objectives.
Core to what we do is managing the risksyouface using bespoke strategies tailored to your needs without sacrificing returns. Not earning return is also a significant risk. All of our strategies aim to manage risks without compromising on your return objectives.
Pooled Employer Plan 401(k) Consulting
With the passage of the SECURE Act in late 2019, plan sponsors have another option for providing 401(k) benefits to their employees. Pooled Employer Plans (PEPs) can have huge advantages in time and money for many companies.
These benefits include items such as:
- Potential cost savings
- Reduced work for the plan sponsor
- Better investment choices
- Better participant experience
- Reduced risk for employers and fiduciaries.
Given these advantages, and the fact that these advantages should increase in value as PEPs grow, we believe that many if not all plan sponsors should evaluate the PEP marketplace. We’ve been helping plan sponsors assess the PEP marketplace to decide if a PEP is right for them.
Outsourced Chief Investment Officer
A tailored solution for delegating your day-to-day investment decisions
Access to the best investment ideas
Delegating the day-to-day investment decisions of your fund gives your team access to our extensive investment and industry expertise. You benefit from our deep experience in implementing relatively complex asset allocation and risk management strategies, that need close market monitoring and the timely implementation of decisions. With our flexible approach, you have control over which responsibilities you want to delegate.
For DB plans
We make the difficult decisions to help your pension plan generate the returns it needs, alongside thorough risk management for each stage of your journey.
For DC plans
Specialist management to help you generate strong investment performance, mindful of the impact of volatility on your members’ outcomes.
For insurance pools
A partnership tailored to your needs, focused on helping you innovatively manage your liabilities, regardless of your size.
Specialists in helping you reach your objectives
As an experienced OCIO committed to investment excellence, we make the difficult decisions on your behalf, with the aim of:
• Delivering superior risk management, giving you greater flexibility and control
• Providing innovative strategy construction, giving you a straightforward way to manage your pool of capital
• Helping you reach you funding goals, thanks to our breadth of expertise
We partner with you to guide your plan’s fiduciaries in evolving your strategy, so that your funding and investment needs are addressed appropriately.
Tailored advice for your benefit
From asset allocation and fund manager selection to risk management and ongoing governance support – we understand that your world is complex. We tailor our advice to your needs, to help your fiduciaries better govern your pension, ensuring improved results for your participants.
Putting your plan at the core
We believe that the best tools and solutions should be accessible to all plans we work with. You will have full access to our extensive investment and consulting expertise, which inform our advice on implementation through the managers that we regard as appropriate to the circumstances.
We partner with you to reach your goals
As experienced consultants committed to investment excellence, we provide proactive and relevant advice aimed at helping you:
- Set clear and measurable objectives
- Form a forward-looking plan for targeting the right level of return
- Ensure diversity across asset classes, regions and managers as appropriate
- Adapt to the prevailing market conditions
- Managing risk and taking opportunities when appropriate
- Selecting where there is a benefit from active managementWe provide investment and transaction advice to DB and DC pensions in the US, as well as pensions and insurance firms in the UK. We work alongside you to:
- Understand your objectives and needs.
- Help you understand the risks you face and how these risks evolve over time
- Provide proactive and relevant advice on investment strategy, asset allocation and manager selection
- Evaluate and select appropriate managers to support your desired investment outcome, with full consideration for your environmental, social and governance requirements
- Select platform providers, administrators and communication specialists where required for DC pensions
- Provide ongoing education and training on all aspects of investment strategy and governance
- Monitor your strategy performance on an ongoing basis against the metrics that matter to you
Questions? To learn more about our service offerings or how we can benefit your pension team contact us below.