Hymans Robertson has won the independent DB trustee contract put to tender by the Trustee of Scottish economic and development fund Highlands and Islands Enterprise DB scheme. The firm will provide actuarial, investment consultancy and administration, among others.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is the economic development agency of the Scottish Government. The organisation, which was founded in 1991, has various goals that aim to improve and develop Scotland along the lines of business, social enterprise, health and sustainably, among others. The organisation employs around 300 staff that are located from Shetland to Argyll.
The tender win will see Hymans Robertson provide independent Trustee support to the HIE’s DB scheme. The consulting firm will provide a range of services to the Trustees, including actuarial, investment consultancy and administration. The DB scheme has assets of £80 million and 875 members. In 2012, the last reported funding shortfall was at £27 million, however the current valuation of the fund was not yet disclosed per the release of HIE’s annual accounts report.
Zahir Fazal, BESTrustees, Chair of trustees of the scheme, remarks “We appointed Hymans Robertson as we believe its approach to funding — which integrates investment, contributions and covenant — would result in a partnering approach between the trustees and our sponsor, HIE. We were also impressed by the collegiate and enthusiastic style of the team, who working together as one, evidenced how they would add value through its member-focussed administration services. All of this was underpinned by its understanding of our marketplace and the similar work it has undertaken for other schemes in our sector.”
The trustees of the scheme says “Zahir’s experience and support through the tender process was invaluable. We now look forward to working closely with Hymans Robertson, Zahir and HIE to help bring a truly integrated risk management approach to our scheme’s funding strategy and provide a high quality administration service to our members.”
Calum Cooper, Partner and Head of Trustee DB at Hymans Robertson, comments that the firm is “delighted” to have been selected as partner. “To meet pension payments both in the near term and into the future, trustees need to ensure their schemes have the assets in place to back cashflow requirements. We take an objective-led approach, with a focus on understanding and managing the cashflows, structuring investments in a way that balances the need to generate required returns but avoiding exposure to capital losses. We believe this is essential to ensure schemes can meet the pensions promised to members, and we look forward to working together with the trustees of the HIE scheme to do that in a risk-controlled and cost effective manner” Cooper adds.