A pair of senior former Merrill Lynch staffers has launched an asset and liability management firm to advise defined benefit pension funds and insurance companies. Dawid Konotey-Ahulu, former managing director and head of the insurance and pensions solutions group at Merrill in London, and Robert Gardner, an ex-director in the group, will consult on using derivatives and collateralized debt obligations as part of strategic risk management, asset allocation and funding.
Konotey-Ahulu quit Merrill in March and Gardner followed a month later, but details of the start-up--dubbed Redington Partners--have only just emerged. Gardner said the company is in the process of developing relationships with top-tier investment banks, boutique funds and derivative managers who source derivatives, but declined to name those he has already met with.
The firm is based in Knebworth, Hertfordshire, host to recent mammoth hedge-fund conference Hedgestock, and draws its name from British actuary Frank Redington, who first explained how long-dated insurance or pension liabilities could be hedged.
Konotey-Ahulu said the firm will be completely independent and will advise on complex structures and derivatives to reallocate risk. "Although it's a slow process, the use of derivatives by these industries is definitely growing and the range of derivative products being shown by providers to pension funds and insurance companies is enormous," Gardner noted.