Towers Watson makes operational hires

Operational RiskPeople Moves
16 Apr, 2012

Towers Watson has bolstered its operational due diligence team as the firm continues to attract ever more institutional clients.

Investment consultants face routine criticism, particularly from FoHFs, for having under-resourced operational infrastructure and staff.

“This was a common criticism up until recently about investment consultants. However, we have expanded our team substantially, and we intend to continue to increase headcount through experienced hires,” said Craig Stevenson, senior investment consultant for manager research at Towers Watson in London.

The new operational hires at Towers Watson also reflect the growing fiduciary responsibilities consultants have to their clients, said Stevenson.

Consultants have won significant business from FoHFs – many of whom have been haemorrhaging capital consistently since 2008. Albourne Partners, the UK-based consultant, was recently named HFM Week’s most influential investor indicating just how much the consultancy space has grown since the crisis.

However, some sceptics question the long-term viability of consultants given that pension funds, such as the USS, are increasingly boosting their alternatives teams. Stevenson acknowledged there was always going to be a place for consultants. “The industry is continually evolving, as we have seen recently with FoHFs. I do believe consultants will have a value add for clients going forward,” he said.