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Highlands and Islands Enterprise appoints Hymans Robertson

19 May 2016

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The trustees of the defined benefit (DB) scheme of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), the Scottish Government's economic and community development agency for the Highlands and the Islands, has appointed independent pensions and benefits consultancy Hymans Robertson.

Hymans Robertson will provide actuarial, investment consultancy and administration services to the scheme.

HIE has 300 staff located from Shetland to Argyll and delivered projects and programmes that drive regional growth through developing businesses and sectors, investing in infrastructure, and strengthening communities.

The DB scheme currently has assets of £80m and 875 members.

Zahir Fazal, from independent trustee company BES Trustees, who is chairing the trustees of the scheme, said: "We appointed Hymans Robertson as we believe its approach to funding, which integrates investment, contributions and covenant, will results in a partnering approach."

"This is underpinned by its understanding of our marketplace and the similar work it has undertaken for other schemes."

This win represents the 19th of 23 new appointments for Hymans Robertson's Trustee DB business since January 2015.
In total these wins have brought a total of £28.4bn new assets under advice to the firm.

Calum Cooper, partner and head of trustee DB at Hymans Robertson said the company was "delighted" to partner with HIE.

He said: "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 – and we believe this is essential to ensure schemes can meet the pensions promised to members."

He added that the firm aims to give trustees a "more complete picture" of their funding situations, incorporating the key long term investment, contribution and covenant dimensions.

First published 19.05.2016