Oxford has substantial experience in developing defined benefit plan investment policy statements (IPS). We lead defined benefit plan boards through how to most effectively incorporate best practices into their IPS document. Our process focuses on key topics that we feel all IPSs should address. These topics include:
- the definition of your strategic asset allocation targets
- allowable asset category ranges to allow for tactical allocations for risk control and opportunistic positioning
- manager selection and watch list criteria
- asset and liability matching philosophy
- the definition of traditional measures related to risk, return expectations, liquidity, time horizon and any special circumstances that should be documented.
Our IPS language recommendations will be built from matching your investment program against the plan’s future liabilities and cash needs. We have long experience advising boards on how to build well-designed investment programs and then monitor them based on changing economic conditions, regulatory factors and the performance of the individual entities included in the plan. Our customized reporting is built to help board members easily monitor the overall performance of the investment program, including risk-adjusted returns, plus the performance of managers and the total portfolio against appropriate peer groups and benchmarks.
Recertification of your IPS
We suggest an annual recertification of your IPS. Our advisors lead the board through an update, proposing changes as needed and providing education on why revisions might be appropriate given regulatory changes and the market environment.