UK’s Pension Protection Fund names Mercer as consultant

Responsible & sustainable investments part of comprehensive advisory contract

The Pension Protection Fund, the UK’s £6.3bn (€7.7bn) pensions lifeboat scheme, has hired consulting firm Mercer as part of a wide-ranging investment advisory mandate.

The PPF, which is a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment and the UK Stewardship Code, announced it has awarded an investment advice contract that it tendered in November.

The comprehensive brief includes providing responsible investment strategies (including fund manager monitoring) and sustainable investment strategies.

The PPF was seeking advice on a broad range of investment issues, including strategy, portfolio construction, portfolio construction, fund manager ratings, investment monitoring and asset allocation.“The Board is a high profile organisation, dealing with novel and far-reaching investment issues every day,” it said. “Excellent advice is therefore critical, balanced with achieving value for money.”

The PPF, based in Croydon south of London, said the arrangement is for four years with two possible two-year extensions. It used an independent adviser during the tender process.

Earlier this year the PPF, which pays out pensions to employees of failed companies, said earlier this year that it plans to appoint a panel of farmland and timberland managers during 2012.

The fund’s Chairman Lady Barbara Judge is currently a defendant in a US class action case being brought by two US pension funds relating to mining company Massey Energy where she was a director.