Penrose to push risk consultancy

Former Standard & Poor’s head of index services Peter Jeffreys is to launch a portfolio risk management consultancy next week.

Jeffreys will call it Independent Risk Monitoring (IRM) and has engaged Penrose to handle a PR drive to promote the company.

IRM is targeting pension fund managers, to whom it hopes to sell a monitoring and advisory service that will assess the levels of risk in their investment portfolios. The company would give an independent assessment of whether a fund manager is sticking to the risk criteria agreed with a client.

Pension fund managers have come under increased scrutiny in recent years for allegedly investing in risky sectors such as technology and emerging markets against the wishes of their clients.

The issue came to a head in 2001 when Unilever Superannunation Fund sued Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (MLIM), formerly Mercury Asset Management, for £130m. The fund alleged that MLIM fund managers took too much investment risk during 1997 and the first quarter of 1998.

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