Research Boutiques

The needs of institutional investors are global, complex and quickly changing

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.

 

The Benefits of Our Research Boutiques

  • As investment clients grow more sophisticated and the investment market becomes increasingly complex, Mercer provides clients with access to manager research specialists in client-facing roles.
  • Access to an increased depth and breadth of manager research, with an increased focus on alternatives.
  • Enhancement of the client experience, allowing direct access to specialist expertise.
  • Stay ahead of the curve, particularly in alternative investments. With a boutique research model, Mercer clients are kept informed on a timely basis and are guided effectively through what can be a complex due diligence process.

​​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.

Mercer's Competitive Advantages

  • Mercer’s global manager research effort is a key competitive advantage and has delivered demonstrable value for clients over many years.
  • There are over 130 staff in Manager Research and multiple investment consultants globally involved in the manager research process, with research locations in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Auckland, Birmingham, Boston, Chicago, Dublin, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Leeds, London, Melbourne, New York, Norwalk, Singapore, St Louis, Sydney, Tokyo,  Toronto and Zurich.
  • 961 searches conducted in 2014, placing $77.8 billion globally.
  • Mercer’s Global Investment Management Database (Mercer GIMD™) tracks over 5,700+ managers and almost 29,000+  investment strategies.
  • 3,200+ manager research meetings held in the last year.
  • Researchers have an average 17 years of experience.
  • 75% of researchers have an MBA/CFA Actuarial, Masters and/or relevant qualification.

Bond Boutique

  • 16 average years of financial services industry experience
  • Actively looking to increase the number of researchers
  • 365 searches conducted in 2014, placing $32 billion globally
  • More than 5,800  bond strategies and 114  bond product categories on Mercer’s Investment Manager Database (Mercer GIMD™)
  • Cover both traditional core products and more esoteric absolute return mandates in conjunction with the alternatives boutique

Equity Boutique

  • 19 average years of financial services industry experience
  • Selectively looking to increase the number of researchers
  • 317 searches conducted in 2014, placing $29.6 billion globally
  • More than 11,800  equity strategies and 153 equity product categories on Mercer’s Investment Manager Database  (Mercer GIMD™) including long-short equity
  • Cover both traditional core products and more esoteric absolute return mandates in conjunction with the alternatives boutiques

Alternatives Boutique

  • 18 average years of financial services industry experience
  • Actively looking to increase the number of researchers
  • 229 searches conducted in 2014, placing $12.2 billion globally
  • More than 9,100 alternative strategies and 140 alternative product categories on Mercer’s Global Investment Manager Database (Mercer GIMD™)
  • Covering a wide spectrum of alternative investment strategies, in conjunction with the real estate, bond and equity boutiques

Real Estate Boutique

  • 16 average years of financial services industry experience
  • 50 searches conducted in 2014, placing $4 billion globally
  • More than 1,800 real estate strategies and 44 alternative product categories on Mercer’s Global Investment Management (Mercer GIMD™)
  • Cover both public (listed) and private (unlisted) real estate

 

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