Willis Towers Watson has completed its acquisition of Russell Investments’ Australian actuarial practice, enhancing its retirement modelling capability.

As part of the deal, 22 consultants transferred to WTW’s retirement team, bringing across more than 50 clients from sectors including corporate, government, master trust and industry superannuation and pension funds.

Willis Towers Watson head of superannuation services, Brad Jeffrey, said that while both teams have undertaken modelling in the past, the combination of “two bunches of smart people” would allow for the development of more advanced tools.

“This will help trustees model where the super fund is heading so they can make decisions from a strategic perspective,” Jeffrey said. “It will also help model how the members are progressing towards achieving an adequate retirement.”

He added the new team members provided a wider and deeper range of expertise and he expected them to integrate seamlessly.

“Our new colleagues are highly experienced and I am confident that culturally, as well as technically, we will quickly bond as a team and continue to deliver excellent services for our expanded client base in both traditional and new retirement solutions,” Jeffrey said.

He added the newly expanded team looked forward to sharing ideas with clients, including approaches to assessing retirement adequacy, undertaking innovative modelling, communicating with members and producing retirement income estimates for members, including a new web-based calculation engine and a range of other technology-based tools.

WTW defines itself as a global advisory, broking and solutions company. It has been providing actuarial services in Australia for 35 years.

Russell Investments announced in February 2017 that it would leave the Australian actuarial industry, as it wanted to focus on asset management. At the time, Russell Investments’ Asia-Pacific chief executive, Pete Gunning, said the move reinforced the company’s “unrelenting focus on our asset-management business, including master trust solutions and implemented consulting”.

Russell had the actuarial business almost since its Sydney office opened in 1986.

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