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LifeSight expands ESG fund range for Irish schemes

DUBLIN, 30 March 2020 – Willis Towers Watson’s LifeSight, encompassing its defined contribution (DC) master trust and group pensions solution has expanded the range of funds available to its Irish DC pension scheme members with the launch of a range of nine new funds. To ensure our range of funds meets our members’ needs in a changing market, ESG is now embedded in our core default strategy as well as being an option for self-select members.

LifeSight’s new funds are spread across the risk spectrum including five core funds to be utilised by default members plus additional self-select funds for members who wish to have more control over their portfolio.

LifeSight will be working with Irish clients over the coming months to transition a total of over €1bn assets on to the new platform, to join the 2500 members who have already made the move.

As a delegated fiduciary manager, LifeSight works in collaboration with investment managers to develop bespoke, cost effective solutions which deliver real value to members. ESG is one of the principles of the fund range and is embedded in a number of the lifestyle strategies, as well as providing a self-select option for members. These funds have been developed with Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), one of the world’s leading asset managers. LGIM is recognised as a leading asset manager in terms of responsible investing and investment stewardship, across both its active and passively managed strategies.[1]

The development is part of LifeSight’s global strategy which has the objective of delivering a comprehensive, high-quality and innovative range of pension services to schemes across Western Europe, in order to enhance retirement outcomes on a truly global scale.

LifeSight now operates in five countries and manages a total of €11bn worth of assets on behalf of 260 clients.

Fiona Matthews, Managing Director of LifeSight said:

“Defined Contribution schemes both in Ireland and across the world are coming under increasing pressure to handle numerous challenges, ranging from enhancing member engagement, meeting ever increasing governance burdens combined with pressure to deliver improved value for members.

“This launch follows extensive work to deliver a market leading solution for our Irish members and ensure better retirement outcomes.

“As a well-established product, LifeSight can make a real difference to all these areas and this new suite of funds is a great example of our approach. With the arrival of auto-enrolment and the forthcoming master trust regulation, we are well positioned to support employers to reduce their governance burden whilst improving their employees’ pension and look forward to welcoming more schemes into LifeSight and this exciting new fund range soon.”

Maria Quinlan, Head of LifeSight Ireland

‘This is a very positive development for our clients and members in Ireland. The member is always at the centre of what we do in LifeSight and our focus is ensuring they get the best retirement outcomes through a tailored communication strategy and best in class investment options.

The new range of funds means we are able to give our clients access to investment options that would not generally be available to members in the Ireland in such a cost effective way. We look forward to discussing these and other developments with clients and members.

Tom O’Gorman, Head of Distribution, Ireland, Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), added:

“We are delighted to have worked with Willis Towers Watson to provide Irish pension schemes with strong investment solutions through a variety of strategies including a number which incorporate ESG elements.

“LGIM takes responsible investing very seriously and it is at the heart of our investment approach. In 2019 we managed €178bn in responsible investment strategies explicitly linked to ESG criteria, and our investment stewardship team engaged with 493 companies and voted on 50,900 resolutions.”

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