Welcome to Rubicon Investment Consulting

By: Rubicon Investment Consulting  05/12/2011
Keywords: Investment Manager, investment strategy, Investment Consulting

Rubicon assists clients in determining, evaluating and choosing between, a range of suitable investment strategies, having regard to the nature and duration of the client’s liabilities.

It is essential that trustees ensure that their assets are invested in accordance with an investment strategy that is appropriate for their particular scheme, having regard to the scheme’s own liability profile. For Defined Benefit schemes, it is necessary to consider the behaviour of both the scheme’s assets and liabilities. For Defined Contribution schemes, it is important to offer an appropriate range of funds, which members can select from in order to adopt an investment strategy suitable for their own personal circumstances. The onus is also on the Trustees to adopt a default investment strategy that is suitable for members who do not make their own investment decisions.

Whether selecting the investment manager (or managers) for a new pension scheme, or reviewing the scheme’s existing investment managers, Rubicon can guide trustees through the difficult task of selecting the most appropriate investment managers for their scheme. Investment manager research is one of our core activities, and we maintain a comprehensive database of investment managers for a wide range of mandates. Using our expertise in this area, we can help trustees select the most suitable manager, whether it is for a small defined contribution scheme or for a large defined benefit scheme.

Independent performance monitoring offers trustees an unbiased analysis of their investment managers’ performance. This is an essential tool for trustees, who have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that the assets of the pension scheme are managed in an appropriate manner.

Rubicon’s performance monitoring service provides trustees with an in-depth report, detailing the performance of the pension fund’s assets relative to their benchmark and, more importantly, outlining the reasons for this relative performance.

As of 1 February 2010, it is a regulatory requirement for pension trustees to receive formal trustee training. New trustees must undertake training within six months of their appointment and at least every two years thereafter, while existing trustees must undergo training at least every two years.

Rubicon provides training and communications programmes to members of pension schemes in respect of the principles of investing, risk, investment strategy, fund selection and the operation of the pension scheme in general.

As a consequence of the advent of Defined Contribution schemes, the responsibility for making investment decisions is falling to scheme members more and more. At Rubicon we offer member education programmes, which can be tailored for each scheme. This will enable members to have a full understanding of the implications of their fund selections and the risks of the various asset classes in which they may choose to invest.

We also offer member communication services. These include preparing detailed fact-sheets on each of the fund options (including structure, risk, suitability and performance), investment handbooks for members, regular performance updates and online projection tools.

These services can also be of value for Defined Benefit schemes that offer Additional Voluntary Contribution facilities.

Rubicon assists clients with reviewing their pension scheme operations in order to ensure that these comply with best industry practice and prevailing pensions legislation.

In 2005, new regulations were introduced requiring all pension schemes with over 100 active and deferred members to produce a Statement of Investment Policy & Principles (SIPP). The SIPP needs to be included in all future annual reports, and must be reviewed at least once every three years, as well as immediately following any change in investment policy. Rubicon can help trustees meet their regulatory requirements in this regard by preparing and updating a Statement of Investment Policy & Principles for their pension scheme.

In the event that the trustees decide to change the fund’s investment manager, for whatever reason, their existing fund will be transferred to a new investment manager. There can be considerable confusion on the part of trustees when it comes to this process. Given the number of parties involved, it can be difficult to coordinate the transfer, or to make sure that the process is completed quickly and with minimum disruption to the scheme. It can be difficult to ascertain from the parties involved in the transfer exactly what the exercise has cost the scheme. Rubicon can act as a liaison between the incumbent and newly appointed managers to ensure that the transfer is carried out in a cost-effective and timely manner. Following completion of the transfer, we will prepare a clear and comprehensive review of the process for the trustees, detailing exactly how the transfer was carried out and how much it cost.

Keywords: Investment Consulting, Investment Manager, investment strategy, performance monitoring

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