Pure insurance solutions do not al-ways cover all a company’s employee benefit needs. In Switzerland, Swiss Life’s pension and asset management services complete the picture.
What will be the biggest challenges and changes for you and your clients in 2015?
For Aon, the biggest challenge will be to implement consistent processes and products while meeting our clients’ needs for customized solutions.
For our clients, the biggest challenge will be to delegate some of their decision-making and control to us (or another third party).
We see our challenge as keeping up to date with all the changes going on, and filtering the essential information to our clients along with our advice on possible actions to take. We also see that Swiss companies are beginning to manage Employee Benefits across borders, and here it’s our challenge to give advice so they can benefit from our experience and also from our worldwide network.
For us it is to be able to develop and deliver cost-effective, innovative solutions to our clients at an acceptable profit margin. We see that margins are getting slimmer.
Our clients face different challenges depending on their industry. The energy sector, for example, will be especially challenged to achieve cost savings, while many other industries will put greater focus on attracting and retaining the right talent. Selecting and developing the right leadership team in a changing world will also be important this year and in future.
Towers Watson continues to expand its Global Benefits Management business, which involves a variety of potential solutions to match our clients’ individual needs. It’s incumbent on us to challenge our clients who are comfortable with traditional approaches to governance and benefits financing to explore all their alternatives and actively consider whether the status quo fully addresses their corporate objectives.
Swiss Life Pension Services (SLPS) is Swiss Life’s advisory company providing expert analysis and on-going monitoring of pension funds to ensure their long-term security and sustainability. SLPS also offers pension governance advice, outsourcing for pension fund technical administration, plus operational management, legal advice, training, and local and international accounting.
Swiss Life Asset Managers (SLAM) has over 150 years of experience in managing assets. SLAM offers institutional mandates and collective investment solutions with a strong focus on maximising the return-to-risk ratios of portfolios across a range of asset classes, including fixed income, equities, real estate and infra-structure. The track record of SLAM funds has been recognized by many awards from Morningstar and by individual performance awards from financial magazines and organisations.
Drawing on the experience and expertise of both SLPS and SLAM, Swiss Life provides Asset Liability Management services (ALM) to clients that help them gain a better understanding of the financial and structural situation of their employee benefits institution. By simultaneously analysing assets and liabilities with a realistic, fund-specific projection, the opportunities and risks associated with asset allocation, and any risks in the plan design, can be illustrated in detail. This offers a quantitative basis for discussing and reaching a decision on the financing and organisation of future benefits.
A consistent approach is applied to market assessments that allows for uncertainties in assumed prognosis parameters. Depending on each client’s needs, other issues beyond the scope of conventional ALM studies can also be analysed.
The ALM study combines the advantages of both traditional and capital market-based methods. The traditional method is based on accounting, while the capital market-based method takes into account economic considerations (true and fair view). Various plan designs and financing strategies are defined and graphically visualized using dynamic balance sheet and portfolio projections.
Different scenarios and stress tests in relation to returns and the structure of the group of insureds are then carried out. This enables the recording of all influencing factors for specific pension fund systems, and clear identification of their future impacts.
This diagram shows our structured and consistent approach: