Gazelle is an independent firm at the forefront of providing specialist corporate finance advice to pension trustees. We focus on providing independent analysis and advice to some of the largest UK and multinational pension schemes.
Regulatory trends in recent years have tended to push corporate and trustee governance structures apart when proper management of corporate DB pension schemes required a balanced assessment of the covenant, funding and investment risks borne both by the sponsor and scheme.
Gazelle is distinctive in having built up a dedicated blend of senior corporate finance, M&A, credit, restructuring and actuarial skills, which the firm applies towards the assessment and advisory needs of the UK's largest schemes. From the CFO perspective, this enables pension risk to be addressed with trustees on sensible terms for all stakeholders.
We provide clear analysis, advice, recommendations and practical assistance throughout a pension scheme lifecycle:
Gazelle typically acts for larger UK schemes and those supported by major global corporations. An informed appreciation is required by trustees of how such sponsors interact with their other stakeholders (such as banks, bondholders, rating agencies, shareholders), and how these drive sophisticated treasury management and capital allocation, financing structures and tax efficient internal reorganisations.
We have experience across the range of industry sectors and particularly with US and continental European groups. While we typically advise the trustees, we are able to advise sponsors on occasions.
Best market practice now requires schemes to optimise their governance and to take suitable independent financial advice at critical points, for instance where they need to assess the impact of a major corporate transaction on the scheme's funding and risk position or to assess reasonable affordability of a scheme recovery plan.
We believe that covenant assessments are not forensic audits and should be carried out by senior personnel who can build a relationship of respect with the finance and treasury team. Our independent covenant assessments provide both trustees and sponsors with an agreed common platform for constructive engagement.