Changing investment for the better

Towers Watson launches global not-for-profit Thinking Ahead Institute

LONDON, 22 October 2014 – Towers Watson is launching a global not-for-profit Thinking Ahead Institute with the aim of influencing change in the investment world to improve the provision of savings. The Institute is open to asset owners, investment managers and other groups that are motivated to influence the industry for the good of savers worldwide and already has 19 members from Australia, France, South Africa, the UK and the USA, with total assets of $5.6 trillion. The Thinking Ahead Institute is an outgrowth of the company’s Thinking Ahead Group established by Roger Urwin and Tim Hodgson in 2002.

Chris Ford, global head of investment at Towers Watson, said: “We have long taken the view that we are not passive participants in the investment world and that we must use our influence to change investment for the better. Acting together the members of the Thinking Ahead Institute, with trillions of dollars of assets under management or advice, can become a prominent force for improving the value proposition for savers globally.”

The Thinking Ahead Institute, jointly supported by Towers Watson and paying members, will operate as a forum and use research and discussion collectively to improve the investment industry for the benefit of the end saver. The institute will achieve its objective through research, discussion and private one-to-one meetings with members.

Tim Hodgson, head of the Thinking Ahead Group at Towers Watson, said: “We care passionately about the investment industry and believe that it should also serve the wider needs of society and its clients in aggregate, not just those of its employees. We have pursued this aim for a number of years and while we’ve had some impact and gathered valuable experience, change has been too slow. The institute is designed to accelerate this through collaboration, collective efforts and the exchange of ideas with like-minded organisations. To this end we hope to find and connect industry participants who believe in the value and power of thought leadership to create change.”

Towers Watson Investment

Towers Watson’s Investment business is focused on creating financial value for institutional investors through its expertise in risk assessment, strategic asset allocation, fiduciary management and investment manager selection. It has over 800 associates worldwide, assets under advisory of over US$2.2 trillion and over US$65 billion of assets under management.

About Towers Watson

Towers Watson (NYSE, NASDAQ: TW) is a leading global professional services company that helps organisations improve performance through effective people, risk and financial management. The company offers solutions in the areas of benefits, talent management, rewards, and risk and capital management. Towers Watson has 14,000 associates around the world.