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Willis Towers Watson Adds ‘Architect’ for Pension Outsourcing

Richard McEvoy will lead the team of specialists who help frozen and closed U.S. defined benefit plans wind down.

Willis Towers Watson has created a new position to lead the company’s outsourcing division for closed and frozen U.S. corporate pension plans.

Richard McEvoy will take over the practice as U.S. delegated integrated solutions lead, the firm announced Thursday. Institutional investment chief Steve Carlson, who covers the Americas, explained McEvoy’s role to Institutional Investor by phone from Chicago. 

“Richard is heading the DB plan practice, serving closed and frozen plans,” he said. “Typically those plan sponsors are looking to either get out of business by selling liabilities to an insurance provider or hibernating” — building an ultra-low risk investment portfolio that matches the remaining liabilities. 

“The assets could be under management for 3 years or 15 years,” Carlson continued. “To make a pretty seamless solution for clients, you really need to have actuarial knowledge and investment knowledge. Most people have one hat or maybe two, and here you actually need three or four. I’d describe Richard as the architect of their strategies.”

McEvoy joins Willis Towers Watson after 22 years at Mercer. He most recently led a division that advises U.S. corporate pension clients on buyouts and other wind-down tactics. He holds actuarial and financial analyst certifications, and will report to U.S. outsourced-CIO chief Clint Carey. 

Willis Towers Watson manages $43 billion in delegated mandates in the U.S., Carlson said, and much more overseas.   

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The division’s U.S. corporate clientele is growing, and its overall assets have gone up by about 20 percent a year for the last several years.

“We’re continuing to expend a lot of effort and energy in that market, because we see a significant amount of demand from closed and frozen plans,” Carlson said. 


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