Investment solutions and OCIO for insurance firms

We offer investment solutions for insurance companies of all sizes across the globe. Our research, advice, tools and implementation capabilities are designed to help you transform your investment program into a strategic differentiator. Use our research to help inform your decisions or work with us to assist in developing and executing your investment strategy, including integration of alternatives and sustainable investments.

Effective portfolio management for insurance companies

Fluctuating interest rates, volatile risk premiums and rising inflation are some of the issues driving increased complexity for insurance investment portfolios. That’s why many insurers are looking for better ways to optimize their investments, increase income, grow surplus and properly align risk.

We believe that with the right expertise and structure, efficient operations, effective execution and lower costs1, an insurance company’s investment program can grow enterprise value and provide a competitive advantage.

Our role goes beyond seeking to simply beat a benchmark, but working with our clients to customize investment solutions to help derive greater value from the investment portfolio through insurance-specific investment ideas, improved implementation, operational support, and the alignment of your portfolio with your specific geographic, regulatory, rating agency, liability, and liquidity requirements.

Chris Tschida, US Insurance Leader, discusses investment solutions for insurance organizations

Five common investment challenges facing insurers

Every insurance company and investment strategy is unique, however in our experience there are five common challenges. We can help you address these challenges by leveraging our deep expertise across all asset classes, our global scale, extensive manager research and dedicated team of insurance consultants.

National and international regulations are complex and make it difficult to construct compliant investment portfolios while properly optimizing risk and return. If you operate in multiple jurisdictions, it’s even more challenging to balance the different requirements within a central investment strategy. We work across all major domiciles and have extensive experience working with multi-national insurance companies.

Economic cycles are becoming shorter and more extreme, with inflation being a primary concern for insurers today. Insurers must position their investment portfolios for a range of outcomes in a volatile market environment. We believe diversification of asset classes is important and requires broad coverage of managers and asset classes that can generate risk-adjusted returns across the market cycle.

Sustainable investment and ESG are a set of issues increasingly driven by regulators and rating agencies across the globe. The appropriate integration of these measures and the need to develop robust reporting for internal and external stakeholders is critical in today’s environment. Our dedicated sustainable investment team can help you stay ahead of these challenges.

Alternative investments provide a potential opportunity to guard against the volatility of equities, hedge against inflation, and seek better returns through illiquidity. Investing in alternatives and private markets requires deep expertise, research, strong relationships with managers and access to opportunities. Our private market specialists can help you build exposure to these asset classes.

As insurance investment portfolios become more complex, pressure on internal resources increases. Finding the right partners and solutions to leverage your internal capabilities while maintaining strategic control of key decisions requires a customized approach for each client. Leveraging our breadth of resources and scale can help focus your team on the most impactful things.

Incorporating sustainability into insurer portfolios

The insurance industry is taking action on environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations through ventures such as the UN Environment Program’s work on Principles for Sustainable Insurance. Internal and external stakeholders are increasing their scrutiny of ESG issues.

Whether you’re focused on risk management, regulatory compliance, or identifying potential investment opportunities, you will need to consider sustainability issues. For example, climate change poses significant risk on asset owners of all sizes around the world. We provide a number of tools that can help you understanding the potential impacts, benchmark against peers and implement changes.

Although this issue is complex and challenging, there are substantial growth and income opportunities in sustainable investments. We have worked with large insurers to build a complete, balanced solution, which fuses the objectives of seeking financial returns with acknowledging risks in a transitioning economy. Some of the investment strategies range from facilitating renewable power infrastructure and energy-efficient buildings to financing innovative green technologies and addressing crucial social issues such as inequality. We offer a variety of sustainable investing solutions for insurers.

Common questions about portfolio management for insurance companies

Every investment program has its own unique set of objectives and often requires internal and external resources to manage it. We flex our services to suit your requirements, creating a customized approach that works for you, no matter the size of your team. Depending on your needs, you may choose one or a combination of the following:

  • Digital: Do it yourself by accessing our digital manager research platform, MercerInsight®.
  • Advisory: Get help with our comprehensive investment consulting services.
  • Delegated: Have us implement and manage your investment strategy

When you engage us, we operate as an extension of your team. We can help guide you on your strategy and allocation, help you source new ideas and innovation through alternative markets and help you integrate ESG, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and impact investing considerations to target sustainably. We can also manage the implementation for you based on your desired direction. You will always maintain control of key decisions.

We use an open-architecture platform not affiliated with any one asset manager, giving us a true independent perspective. This allows you to customize solutions to match your specific requirements regarding returns, liabilities or liquidity. The platform also helps you execute your strategy through your in-house team, external managers, or a combination of both.

Alternative asset classes, including private markets, can offer insurers many benefits — returns that are less correlated to public markets, important sources of diversification, and ways to invest in and support the real economy. However, accessing and maintaining these strategies is not straightforward. There are layers of complexity and cost through origination, due diligence, legal work and relationship building — all before any investment has been made.

We can help you navigate these challenges in a way that suits your strategy and requirements.

  • Advice: You keep control of your investment strategy and implementation, while we provide research, operational, legal and due diligence support.
  • Directed implementation: This approach lets you keep control of investment decisions and manager selection while deploying and implementing strategies through our platform.
  • Delegated implementation: Our specialists work with you to create a bespoke investment strategy and approach implemented through our platform using segregated mandates or pooled funds.

Our investment specialists around the world place importance on integrating sustainable investment considerations when defining strategies, monitoring and selecting managers, and implementing selected strategies.

We have been at the forefront of sustainable investment strategies for more than a decade. Our large team of specialists across the globe can advise you on all aspects of ESG investing, DEI investing and impact investing. Our aim is to help you construct a complete strategy and portfolio designed to protect your company against risks and capture long-term opportunities. We also aim to help protect your company’s reputation.

We are committed to embedding a focus on sustainability across our advice and implementation work. To that end, we are a signatory to the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment and our ESG beliefs and Sustainable Investment Policy, both of which are freely available to help you understand how we operate in this field.

We have also published detailed research modeling the path to a net-zero economy and its implications for investors’ portfolios.

How we helped a large insurer adjust its portfolio operating model

The issue:

A global marine insurer needed to adjust to a new operating model. The process highlighted the company’s limited internal resources and inability to execute and nimbly adapt its investment strategy.

The in-house team wanted to retain control of manager selection but also explore new investment opportunities that capture yield, including moving into private markets.

The solution:

We began working with the insurer in an advisory capacity before progressing to an implemented consulting and discretionary delegated asset allocation relationship. The insurer was able to retain its existing fund managers while expanding and diversifying with managers we helped find.

We introduced detailed data and risk analytics, which enabled the insurer to enhance its governance structure. This also helped simplify and streamline the company’s operating model across multiple group entities and reduce costs.

Mercer investments and retirement consulting: How we can help

Whether you’re an employer, institutional investor, nonprofit organization, financial intermediary or family office, Mercer investments and retirement consulting aims to help you develop an investment solutions strategy unique to your situation, as well as provide the service and support you need.
  • Implementation and OCIO

    We can help you define, develop and implement your investment strategy by addressing areas such as governance, risk, sustainability and diversification. We flex our services to suit your needs and help you achieve your investment goals.
  • Sustainable investments 

    We help you build a sustainable investment strategy that integrates environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations; diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) factors and seeks an optimal mix between positive change and favorable returns.
  • Alternative investments

    Leveraging our existing relationships with hundreds of asset managers around the world, we can help you identify and source new investment strategies, opportunities, ideas and innovations across private markets and hedge funds. 
  • Strategic research 

    Become a member of the MercerInsight® Community today to get access to strategic research from hundreds of thought leaders around the world, including Mercer and third-party publishers. It’s complimentary and easy to join.
  • Asset manager research 

    By subscribing to MercerInsight®, an alliance with eVestment, you can gain access to data, analytics and our forward-looking research on asset managers and thousands of investment strategies across both public and private markets. 
  • Managing investment risk

    Our Mercer Sentinel team can help you conduct due diligence and mitigate operational risks across your portfolios and strategies. We assess asset managers, custodians and other service providers to help you deliver on your governance objectives.

Leverage our breadth and depth


US $16.45 trillion in global assets under advisement1


US $345 billion in global assets under management2


More than 12,400 investment strategies rated3


More than 7,000 asset managers rated4

* 1 June 30, 2022,  2 March 31, 2023,  3 June 30, 2022,  4 June 30, 2022

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    See our Important Notices

    1. Fees and savings are not guaranteed
    2. Mercer cannot guarantee access to opportunities. Access is at the discretion of the investment manager.
    3. Mercer does not provide legal advice. You should contact your attorney before making any decisions with legal implications.