Banks invest in pensions teams

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City investment banks are looking to boost their pensions advisory teams.

"We have experienced a massive upturn in retained assignments in the pensions advisory sector over the last six months," says Stephen Phipps, head of life and pensions at recruitment firm Hanover Search.

Pensions advisory has traditionally been the domain of fund managers and actuarial consultants, but now investment banks are making a play for the fast-growing area by stepping up efforts to cater for corporate clients with big deficits in their final-salary pension schemes.

"Traditional fund managers and actuarial firms are dealing with these increased demands in a number of ways," Phipps says. "These include higher basic salaries, stronger advisory support mechanisms and more competitive commission structures."

Citigroup and Credit Suisse are among the banks who have been hiring lately, and Lehman Brothers has set up a new European pensions advisory business.

The Times says Morgan Stanley plans to strengthen its European pensions group as well. The paper says Jakob Horder, a Morgan Stanley managing director, is considering a number of potential hires, however the bank did not confirm the speculation.

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