The role of asset consultants in the investment chain is important, as they provide a range of advisory services to asset owners and other actors. Asset consultants strongly influence the investment strategies and resulting asset allocation decisions of pension schemes. They also act as a selection mechanism in respect of investment managers and provide training to sponsors and trustees on investment approaches and emerging investment trends.

In many jurisdictions, obtaining advice is a statutory requirement. The UK Pensions Act requires that investment decisions are taken upon receipt of “proper advice”. The acts of UK pension fund trustees must be personal and conscious, and not taken under the dictation of another. However, in practice, trustees have tended to lean heavily on the advice of their investment consultants. US asset consultants are regulated under the Investment Advisers Act which provides for a fiduciary duty to provide “disinterested advice” to their clients.

This project aims to ensure that sustainability issues are properly integrated into the advice being offered by asset consultants and used by asset owners.

The project involves (but is not limited to):

  • advisory frameworks and tools
  • actuarial modelling
  • professional skills and standards
  • regulation
  • client expectation
  • market structure

Over the coming weeks, the PRI’s policy team will interview asset consultants, asset owner clients and regulators to contribute to a consultation paper due to be published later this year. The consultation paper will also draw on the PRI Reporting and Assessment framework and IC Research Global Database. We will also set up an advisory committee for this project.

To register interest in the project, please email and