SEI Quick Poll: Complexity and Negative Impact on Financials Drives Questions about Future Methods for Pension Investment Management



    More than Half of Plan Sponsors Re-evaluating Current Plan Management

    TORONTO, Sept. 26 /CNW/ - An SEI (NASDAQ:  SEIC) sponsored Quick Poll
released today shows that the increasing complexity of pension investment
management and the need to control the negative impact of investment
volatility upon corporate financials are prompting organizations to reevaluate
the management of their pension investments. Of the organizations polled, more
than half (55%) said they were reevaluating their investment management
approach with 42% reporting that the main factor for considering alternative
approaches is a need to better control investment volatility. Almost all (95%)
acknowledged that the traditional consultant model of pension investment
management is not the only available option to their organization.
    The survey asked pension plan sponsors, at various corporations across
Canada who manage $25 million to more than $1 billion in pension assets, if
investment management is increasing in complexity. Seventy per cent of
managers, who use the traditional consultant model of pension management, said
they feel managing pension investments has become increasingly complex. In
contrast, only half of sponsors polled, who handle investment decisions
internally, felt the same way, with only eight per cent of those who use a
Manager of Managers model noting an increase in complexity.
    "As pension investments become more difficult to manage, plan sponsors
are recognizing that it is time to evaluate the current approach and determine
if it addresses their new challenges," said Andrew Kitchen, Managing Director,
Strategies & Solutions, SEI Global Institutional Group. "Pension plans are
negatively impacting company financials and are drawing increased scrutiny. In
response, executives are looking for ways to manage pension risk the same way
other organizational risk is managed."
    Quick Poll results confirm that thirty-one per cent of the pension
sponsors using the traditional consultant model say the pension is negatively
impacting the company's financials. Sixty-seven per cent report feeling that
the pension expense is unpredictable and therefore unmanageable, with the
majority (95%) noting that closing the plan to new entrants or freezing
accruals will not alleviate the problems caused by the plan.
    "In Canada, the current risks the pension plan is posing to the
organization will continue as long as plans are open to new participants and
are still accruing benefits," notes Mr. Kitchen. "The pension plan is a
growing liability and the management strategy for it is beginning to draw the
attention of many Boards and CEOs."
    "Controlling investment volatility and pension expense is a high priority
for many pension sponsors. Ensuring that the investment management process
addresses these key concerns is a critical starting point to ensuring
effective pension plan management," he concluded.

    About the Poll

    The Pension Management Research Panel, the research arm of SEI's Global
Institutional Group, surveyed executives responsible for the management of
pension investments of organizations across Canada. The poll was completed by
a total of 100 organizations - with pension assets under management ranging
from $25 million to over $1 billion. The questions were designed to gain
insight into the current model for managing pension investments, the factors
influencing decisions, and what actions are being taken to better manage these
assets in the future. The participants are not institutional clients of SEI. A
complete summary of survey results can be found at
www.seic.com/institutions/cda/en.

    About SEI's Institutional Group

    SEI's Institutional Group delivers integrated retirement, healthcare and
nonprofit solutions to over 490 global institutional clients (330 U.S.
institutional clients) in seven different countries. SEI enables clients to
meet financial objectives, reduce business risk, and fulfill their due
diligence requirements through implemented strategies for the management of
defined benefit plans, defined contribution plans, endowments, foundations and
other balance sheet assets. For more information, visit
http://www.seic.com/institutions.

    About SEI

    SEI (NASDAQ:  SEIC) is a leading global provider of outsourced asset
management, investment processing and investment operations solutions. The
company's innovative solutions help corporations, financial institutions,
financial advisors, and affluent families create and manage wealth. As of the
period ending June 30, 2007, through its subsidiaries and partnerships in
which the company has a significant interest, SEI administers US$407 billion
in mutual fund and pooled assets and manages US$199 billion in assets. SEI
serves clients, conducts or is registered to conduct business and/or
operations, from more than 20 offices in over a dozen countries. For more
information, visit www.seic.com.




For further information:

For further information: Caroline Spivak, Fleishman Hillard Canada,
(416) 645-8185, caroline.spivak@fleishman.ca; Terry Li Cameron, SEI Canada,
(416) 847-6371, tlicameron@seic.com

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