Towers Watson is launching a global, non-profit think tank comprising asset owners, investment managers and other services providers that will focus on improving the investment industry for end savers, said Steve Carlson, head of investments, Americas, at Towers Watson.
The Thinking Ahead Institute, which is expected to launch in early January, will be a buildout of Tower Watson's internal think tank, The Thinking Ahead Group, Mr. Carlson said.
The institute will operate as a forum and will use research and discussion to influence change in the investment world, Mr. Carlson said. The forum will meet several times a year.
“We think this is something unique and different … in getting asset owners and managers together to really think and plot out how the investment industry can function better for the end user,” Mr. Carlson said. One of the end users he described was a defined contribution plan beneficiary.
The institute will be led by Tim Hodgson, head of the Thinking Ahead Group at Towers Watson.
“The institute is designed to accelerate (change in the investment industry) through collaboration, collective efforts and the exchange of ideas with like-minded organizations,” Mr. Hodgson said in a news release. “To this end, we hope to find and connect with industry participants who believe in the value and power of thought leadership to create change.”
Nineteen asset owners and investment managers spanning four continents and representing $5.6 trillion in total assets have already indicated interest in joining the institute, Mr. Carlson said.
The institute will be supported by Towers Watson and paying members.