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Fiduciary management mythbusters





OCIO, fiduciary management, delegated solutions and implemented consulting are all different

There are many names for this approach, which vary by region rather than varying by what they do. They all centre on the same thing: supporting institutional investors to meet their goals more efficiently. Each provider will have their own approach, but at Mercer we let you decide how you want to work with us. Call it what you like — we call it “Investment Solutions” — and make it work for you.


Investment outsourcing would make us give up control of our portfolio and investment decisions

We want to put you back in control and feel confident that your investments are working towards your goal. By lifting the burdens of implementation, monitoring and reporting, we aim to free up your time to focus on overall strategy and the challenges your organization may face. Assigning the day-to-day portfolio management decisions to our experienced team helps you to nimbly shield your assets from risks and capture emerging opportunities in the market.


Investment outsourcing  would cost us more than our current arrangement

Due to our size and market position, we are able to negotiate on fund manager and other provider fees, which often results in savings passed to the end investor. We believe investment solutions can help investors reach their goals more quickly, thereby cutting the time — and money — spent on the journey.


My portfolio is too simple or too complex to need an investment solution.

Investment solutions can help a wide range of investors take control of their portfolios and refocus on their objectives. Every investor is different, and they each have their own goals, objectives and challenges. We assist organisations of all sizes and complexities to feel confident that their bespoke investment strategy is being implemented, managed and monitored by specialists, who are aligned with their interests.


It’s a one-size-fits all option.

Investment solutions aim to do what you need them to do and not what you don’t. From bespoke investment strategy design to implementation and monitoring of managers, each client works with us in the way they choose. We are here to support investors in whichever way they need — and we can flex with you along your journey.

  • Fiduciary management for pension funds

    Fiduciary management provides a complete governance framework for pension funds, helping to untangle complexity and prepare them to face the future. From designing bespoke, outcomes-based investment strategies to nimbly shifting portfolios to seize opportunities, our pension fund clients benefit from Mercer’s heritage, skill and scale in the market. We draw on more than seven decades of providing bespoke financial advice to organisations of all types and sizes, with a global strategy team that continually bolsters it’s in depth knowledge across all asset classes and investment themes.

    We have the world’s largest proprietary institutional investment manager database of more than 6,717 investment managers and more than GBP 5,6tn of subscriber assets2. This leading position we hold in the market also empowers us to push down on manager fees, which we pass straight to our clients, and engage with them on strategy and performance questions. Running our portfolio management systems in-house, using our own operational platform, also enables us to flex towards protection or opportunities efficiently, depending on our outlook for markets, while keeping our clients’ fees down.

    We design complete solutions to give pension funds the tools and the confidence to tackle what lies ahead and to help meet their objectives.

  • Investment solutions for endowments and foundations

    From large, global foundations to small, family-run endowments, we help not-for-profit organisations design portfolios suitable to their needs and that help them in their search of better investment outcomes, while keeping them in control and their costs down.

    Our investment solutions governance framework gives our not-for-profit and charities clients access to as much of our institutional investment capability as they need to help meet their objectives. These clients work with our experienced teams to formulate a long-term, diversified investment strategy, drawing on our insight gained from operating in this field for several decades. We can also implement their own strategy, using our institutional-standard operational platform to access a wide global range of managers and asset classes – at competitive fees.

    Our dedicated sustainable investment team can also help our clients shape an ESG policy, according to their principles and beliefs, exploring risks and opportunities that could significantly impact their portfolio. We conduct rigorous oversight of portfolios to ensures managers are sticking to their claims on ESG to protect our clients from reputational damage connected to a sector or company.

    We want our endowment and foundations clients to stay in control of their portfolio, no matter what the future brings, and feel confident they have a plan in place designed to weather what lies ahead. Connect with us to explore what we can do for you today.

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  • Investment solutions for wealth managers and family offices

    We help wealth managers, including banks, financial advisers and family offices, to clearly define expected investment outcomes and potentially improve the value they deliver to their clients. Through our investment solutions platform we offer wealth managers a range of core building blocks, covering every step of their client’s journey, that they can combine to meet their needs. From institutional level strategy design to portfolio monitoring and communication, we partner with them to create a tailored framework that focuses on their long-term goals and shorter-term pressures.

    Our research capability covers a wide global range of managers, spanning a significant number of asset class - including private market and illiquid portfolios – and is relied on by thousands of investors around the world. As  an unbiased provider we select managers solely on quality, and consistently monitor them for shifts in strategy and operational anomalies. We also use our position to push down manager and other third-party fees with the aim of insuring our clients get the best deal.

    We can also support wealth managers on timely implementation and oversight tasks. We can get you to market with new ideas quickly and execute investors’ wishes fast, meaning fewer opportunities are missed. Our investment solutions brings the power, reach and efficiency of Mercer’s global footprint to wealth managers of any size and sophistication around the world, enabling them to sharpen their focus and potentially deliver better client outcomes. Connect with us to explore what we can do for you today.

  • Investment solutions for insurers

    From large, global multi-line insurers to small regional specialists, we help many organisations enhance the oversight of their portfolios, while potentially reducing implementation costs and carefully managing risks. Our investment solutions framework is fundamentally a governance structure that has been designed to give our clients access to as much of our institutional investment capability as they need. It functions as a range of core building blocks that insurers choose and combine to create a precise, tailored package to suit their objectives and budget. Whether you need a complete end-to-end solution, informed regulatory reporting or just a trusted second opinion, we have what you need.


    Why insurers should partner with us?

    The starting point for any insurer’s investment strategy is to identify the outcomes that are essential to fulfil business objectives and will not change according to market conditions. This strategy must also be able to accommodate complex and changing regulations, without jeopardising the fulfilment of these objectives. Equally important is for insurers to stay in control of this strategy while ensuring efficient implementation and solid cost management.

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Other useful material


Meet some of our experts 

Dan Melley

Dan Melley

Head of UK Investments

Dan is a Partner and UK Head of Investments for Mercer. He is responsible for bespoke investment solutions for clients, developing commercial relationships and overseeing the execution of Mercer’s investment solutions, distribution and growth strategy. Dan sits on Mercer’s UK Growth Leadership Committee, Wealth Leadership Team and the Investment Solutions European Leadership Committee.

James Lewis

James Lewis

Partner at Mercer, UK Head of Investment Strategy

James is Head of Investment Strategy for Mercer’s UK Delegated Solutions business. As well as leading the strategy team James is the lead Strategist for a number of clients where the scope of work ranges from detailed modelling of the financial risks his clients face to planning and implementing sophisticated journey plans. He has a particular focus on investment strategy and its evolution overtime to reflect the changing dynamics of the pension scheme.

Helen Hope

Helen Hope

UK Investment Advisor and Fiduciary Manager

Helen is responsible for the advice and delivery of all of Mercer's UK delegated solutions clients, including the DB Master Trust. Previously named as Investment Advisor of the Year by Professional Pensions.

Our story, our achievements


Investment Consultant team of the year
Our sustainable investment team was recognized as investment consultant team of the year by Environmental Finance. Learn more here.


Discover what we're anticipating coming next in the path towards sustainable investment in this article by two of our esteemed team, Rebecca Mather and Jill Reid.


#1 OCIO assets under management
We are delighted to continue to lead the global market for full discretionary OCIO assets under management, for our Investment Solutions and OCIO services, to help clients address these critical investment issues. Learn more here.

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