In the wake of the global economic crisis, the institutional asset management industry is poised for fundamental change. The needs of institutional investors are global, complex, quickly changing and influenced by market events that call into question tried and tested investment practices.
Each boutique, staffed with professionals who have research and consulting capabilities, conducts forward-looking, institutional-quality research of investment management products, and works closely with both internal and external clients on manager structuring and selection projects.
The range of investment management mandates demanded by clients has broadened substantially in recent years, both in mainstream asset classes and with the advent of alternative approaches to investment. In order to provide in-depth, comprehensive product research, the Mercer manager research team has become increasingly specialized in its organisation. The move to boutiques reflects the need to focus on depth of expertise, and Mercer’s desire to remain close to clients, bringing innovations to their attention in a timely fashion and being the ‘first call’ for any manager bringing products to market.
The boutiques are staffed by a range of professionals, including those with an investment management background and others with direct experience with asset management. The increasing complexity involved with structuring investment arrangements, designing bespoke mandates and assessing innovative and niche products (among the many facets of Mercer’s work with clients) points to the value that the boutiques can bring through direct contact and involvement with clients.
Mercer pursues a two-pronged approach to working with clients – we use both manager research and investment consulting experience to arrive at optimal solutions for clients.