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Opportunity knocks – are you ready to answer? - a look back at de-risking strategies, have they worked and how to capture opportunities

A Fiduciary Manager is for life, not just for lockdown


By and large fiduciary managers have delivered improved funding levels for their clients. But with the better funding position achieved, some Trustees of DB pension schemes are beginning to wonder whether they still need their trusteed companion any longer.

Upgrading your governance could give you an advantage in 2021


“A governance advantage helps our clients access timely information, respond quickly and make effective decisions. This allows them to manage risk and capture emerging opportunities. Good governance underpins everything we do as an investment partner.”


Dan Melley, UK Commercial Leader of Investment Solutions.

Re-evaluate, re-allocate: new strategies to build resilience


Building resilience can help improve outcomes and keep you focused on your objectives. This is why we make this a critical focus throughout our clients’ investment journey. We help you build resilience by implementing a robust governance framework to streamline decision-making and assign tasks to dedicated teams. Lifting this wide range of technical and operational burdens frees up your time, so that you can concentrate on what’s important to you, and allows experienced partners to pursue investment opportunities efficiently and cost-efficiently. 


While we believe this framework should be the foundation from which all investors forge their objective, strategy and portfolio, it is an important tool throughout the investor journey, too. This framework gives you ready access to the standardized information you need to stay on top of your risks and exposures – especially in uncertain times – and helps you manage the broad spectrum of fees and costs that accompany running a sophisticated portfolio. 



Private markets: broad opportunities, enhanced diversification and higher yield

Private markets are becoming increasingly popular as investors shift parts of their portfolios from publicly traded assets to diversify their risk and return drivers. The opportunities in private markets span many sectors and regions, each offering something different. Yet they all share the qualities of being shielded from much public market volatility and having the potential to earn a premium by being held over the long term. 

However, accessing managers that invest in private markets can be challenging for some investors – this is where Mercer can help. We have been investing in these markets for more than 25 years, establishing deep relationships with a wide universe of high-rated managers. Our dedicated alternatives group of over 180 professionals across 20 global locations, work on GBP 234bn of alternatives advisory mandates for clients - GBP 16,8bn of assets being under direct implementation.2


Explore the benefits of private markets



why private markets


how to for private markets


opportunities in private credit


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.


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.

Other useful material


Meet two of our global investment leaders

Mick Dempsey

Mick Dempsey

Global Head of Investment Solutions

Mick has global responsibility for Mercer's investment solutions business and under his leadership, it has taken a strong position globally. We’re today the world’s largest provider of investment solutions, managing more than $305 billion of assets1 for 1,000+ clients2. Mick is also CEO of Mercer Global Investments Europe, our European investment management business, one of several senior positions he has held since joining in 1999. However, he has also gained extensive market and broad client consulting experience by leading on key Mercer relationships. Mick is a CFA charterholder, holds a Business & Finance degree from Dublin City University and a masters degree in Business from the Michael Smurfit, UCD Business School. He is based in Dublin.

Niall OSullivan

Niall O’Sullivan


Niall is responsible for the design, implementation and ongoing supervision of Mercer Investment Management's range of fund solutions, which are available to a wide variety of clients across Europe. He is also responsible for our Discretionary Management services. Niall joined Mercer in 2010 from QED in Dublin, where he had been focusing on solution-driven investment opportunities with banks and insurance companies. Prior to this, at Bank of Ireland Global Markets, he created derivative-based solutions along with developing the bank’s LDI product range and inflation-linked solutions. Niall earned a Gold Medal & First Class Honours in Mathematics from Trinity College Dublin, where he was also a Scholar of the College, along with an Honours MSc from Dublin City University in Investments and Treasury Management in which he finished in first place.

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1 Highly rated by Mercer’s in-house global strategic research team.

2 As at 31 December 2019

* Past performance is not an indication of future returns. Superior returns cannot be guaranteed


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