John Morrell & Associates, an investment consulting firm based in London, has been selected by the European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies to develop European performance measurement standards.
Mr. Morrell said the development of the standards is being headed by David MacKendrick, who joined John Morrell & Associates after his retirement in 1994 as director of IBM Retirement Funds Europe.
Mr. Morrell started his consulting firm in 1992 after retiring as chairman of Baring International Investment Ltd.
Mr. Morrell said European and U.S. pension funds have much to learn from each other.
"The correct way to manage pension assets is probably half-way between the American way and the European way," Mr. Morrell said.
He based his his opinion on his experience with U.S. and British pension funds while he was with Baring International.
The primary goal of John Morrell & Associates, which offers consulting services not only to pension funds but also to money management organizations, is to help clients enhance investment performance, said Mr. Morrell.
One way the firm aids performance enhancement is by helping the organization to focus on the correct benchmarks. Then, Morrell shows the firm how to use those benchmarks correctly.
Benchmarks have two distinct roles, he said. One is as a historical measurement standard; the other role is to allow a money management organization to assess its neutral investment position.
Too often, Mr. Morrell said, there has been some confusion over the two differing roles, and that has led to suboptimal performance.