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Firms called to bid for government panel 10 October 2011

The governmental organisation confirmed this morning that the companies that make the grade could be made available to 12 regulatory bodies in total as part of the ongoing cost-cutting measures by the coalition government.

It is understood that the PPF is seeking to cut the number of legal advisory firms from the current 27 during the tender process, although a longer list of companies from the insolvency sector will additionally be appointed.

The PPF was set up under the provisions of the Pensions Act 2004 in April 2005 and is classified as a public financial corporation.

It has been established to pay compensation to members of eligible final salary and hybrid pension schemes when there has been a qualifying insolvency event and where there are insufficient assets in the pension scheme to cover PPF levels of compensation.

However, those in the industry with experience working for regulatory and governmental organisations have warned that the PPF is likely to opt for a larger firm.

Julian Sampson, partner at Guildford-based Wright & Wright, said regulatory tenders tend to follow the same process.

He said: “My view is that they tend to be a pretty closed shop. They have to offer them out but you will probably find that even niche firms can’t go for it unless they have 10 to 15 partners and 50 staff.

"If they are going to roll it out across several regulators, it will have to be a firm with broad brush experience and 70 plus partners.”

Wright & Wright, which has itself done work with the Financial Services Authority said larger firms bidding for this type of work are often forced to compromise significantly on price.

He added: “We have done some government tendering, but they make those larger firms come to a price and you will be surprised what price these firms will come down to.”

Today’s news comes just days after the PPF publicly announced it was cutting its levy for 2012/2013 by £50m on the previous year to £550m – funded by levies from UK defined benefit and hybrid pension schemes.

 

 

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