As corporate pension plan sponsors try to figure out how to mend the damage inflicted on plan funding over the last year, some are surely wishing for a crystal ball to help them pick the investments that will dig them out of their funding hole. In the absence of augury, Inalytics suggests its Behavioral Performance Systems (BPS) can provide an assessment of portfolio managers' skills that is more forward-looking than historical performance data.

"There is a growing recognition among corporate pension plans and others that the existing tools to measure managers, evaluate managers and choose a manager do not always work at well as one might wish," says Lisa Manuele, head of Inalytics North America.

U.K.-based Inalytics examines three years of a fund manager's holdings and daily transactions to assess the manager's capabilities, a process that searches for "repeatable patterns of performance that indicate skill or whether they simply got lucky," she says.

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Susan Kelly

Susan Kelly is a business journalist who has written for Treasury & Risk, FierceCFO, Global Finance, Financial Week, Bridge News and The Bond Buyer.