Consultant Usage Down Among Large Plans

July 31, 2001 ( -Nearly half (47.1%) of all plans with more than $100 million in assets employ pension fund consultants, but that is down from 48.7% a year ago, according to a new survey.

The vast majority (78.7%) of public/government funds with more than $100 million in assets used consultants, compared with just 47% of union/Taft Hartley plans and only 42% of corporate/ERISA plans, according to Nelson Information’s 2001 Pension Fund Consultant Survey. Mercer Tops Corporate, Government Lists

William M. Mercer was the most hired consultant in both corporate and hospital groups and also led the list of most clients with more than $100 million in assets, according to Nelson’s findings. Still, in terms of sponsor assets, it was well below Frank Russell , Watson Wyatt and Callan Associates , which ranked 4, 5 and 3, respectively, in the corporate category in terms of number of clients. Sponsors aligned with number 2 Hewitt Associates had more than twice the assets reported by Mercer’s assignments but only about half the clients.

Mercer managed to come in second in the rankings of consultants in endowments and public/government plans.

Other Findings

Cambridge Associates topped the list for foundation/endowments, while Callan Associates was number one among public/government clients

The Marco Consulting Group led the list among union/Taft-Hartley clients, swapping places with second place Segal Advisors , who led last year’s tally in this category.

The survey covers nearly 300 consulting firms and over 4,500 US-based plan sponsors, each with over $100 million in assets.

– Nevin Adams

The nine-page summary of Nelson’s findings