Punter Southall has become the first major UK pensions consultancy to adopt PFaroe®, RiskFirst’s award winning pension liability and risk management software, in the core operations of its actuarial and benefit consulting business.

In what promises to be a game changing move, Punter Southall will demystify the actuarial process by offering its clients more frequent, transparent and accessible valuations. The company believes the user-friendly analytics and up-to-the-minute information will foster greater collaboration between employers and trustees to create a sharper focus and insight into managing pension liabilities.

PFaroe has already been adopted by some of the UK’s largest pension schemes, including National Grid, Babcock, Daily Mail & General Trust, Invensys and Trinity Mirror. This agreement will extend access to PFaroe to a wider range of schemes and represents a ground-breaking marriage of technological infrastructure and bespoke actuarial advice. PFaroe will be offered to all Punter Southall’s existing and prospective clients across its 11 offices throughout the UK.

Punter Southall Chief Executive John Batting said he believed this may be a tipping point in the institutional pensions industry when the role of actuary shifts from that of gatekeeper to guide.

“Analytics and up-to-date information have always played a significant role in the successful management of DB pension plans but it is now more important than ever in a complex and challenging economic environment.”

“Traditionally, valuations have their own methods and mystique. What this technology does is to present a clear and transparent picture for everyone to see”.

“We know this will be a positive cost-benefit for our clients and believe it’s a great fit for our consulting business. PFaroe is intuitive, in-depth and, judging by the research we’ve carried out, in demand. Our firm belief is that the best outcomes are achieved by employers and trustees working closely together, and using PFaroe to give both parties access to the same information will greatly enhance that cooperation”.

RiskFirst Chairman David Norgrove said:

“I’m delighted that Punter Southall is adopting PFaroe.  Most schemes have information that is much too limited and out of date for the scale of the risks being managed, as I know from chairing a scheme and my time at the Pensions Regulator. The reality is that medium to large schemes run similar risks and face similar challenges to financial services businesses so they need the same frequent, deep and rigorous management information.

PFaroe achieves this for corporate sponsors, scheme trustees and their actuarial advisers, giving them access to critical data and allowing them to analyse a range of risk and liability scenarios. PFaroe’s market-leading capability has been recognised in a string of industry awards.  By adopting its powerful analytics, Punter Southall will be opening up for its clients the opportunity for a more useful, complete and accurate understanding of their schemes than they have ever had before.”

This latest move comes after a busy start to 2012 for the Punter Southall Group, which celebrates its 25th anniversary next year. Earlier this month, it announced it had taken full ownership of a 50:50 joint venture of boutique fund manager PSigma Asset Management, run by Bill Mott and Ian Chimes. Its institutional investment advisor, P-Solve, also expanded in the US after taking over an actuarial practice in Massachusetts.