With more than 20 years of experience, Mercer consults to numerous institutions in the nonprofit sector. In higher education, for example, we understand that given the growing gap between steadily escalating operating costs and limits on tuition and public support, college and university administrations frequently look to investment returns to bridge the difference. In such a situation it is important for investment advisors to have a firm grasp of both investment management principles and campus the political and financial context of decision-making.
A number of Mercer’s consultants have served as chief investment officers, senior investment staff members, or investment committee members at many prestigious universities in the US. With these backgrounds, our higher education group is uniquely qualified to assist colleges and universities in facing future economic challenges and seizing investment opportunities.
In the foundations sector, our consultants are proficient at supporting foundation staff and Board members in assessing the Foundation’s distribution requirements, goals and tolerance for risk, and matching these to realistic estimates of investment returns.
Our research team statistically analyzes these parameters to develop a set of feasible investment strategies, which are used to project an array of potential outcomes. From this data a client institution can choose an effective, sustainable investment strategy suited to its specific set of needs.
Financial markets face great uncertainty and volatility as the global economy struggles with slowing growth, high unemployment and sovereign debt issues. The outlook for future asset returns is falling, thereby increasing the challenge for endowments and foundations to meet their multiple objectives of stable inflation-adjusted disbursements, longer-term growth and preservation of endowed capital.