· Traditional US fixed income saw the highest level of search activity
· Search activity in international multi-asset mandates continues to increase, most notably in the US and UK
Mercer, a global consulting leader in advancing health, wealth and careers, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC) today announced the findings of their 2014 Global Manager Search Trends Report. Mercer advised clients on 963 searches in 2014 which led to assets of $77.8bn USD being placed in new mandates, a level of activity broadly similar to the two prior years. 2014 saw significantly increased search activity in the US with notably fewer searches in the UK and Asia.
“The level of search activity continues to vary by region on an annual basis, as driven by local considerations,” said Deb Clarke, Global Head of Investment Research at Mercer. “The significant increase in traditional fixed income searches in the US occurred largely in the fourth quarter of 2014 following the high profile departure of a US fixed income portfolio manager.”
There was a broad decline in the number of equity searches as investors continue to diversify away from equities in the growth component of their portfolios. Conversely, there was a pick-up in activity in multi-asset searches and in ‘growth’ fixed income.
“2014 saw the trend towards fixed income mandates becoming less reliant on the beta of the market continuing and we expect this to persist,” said Paul Cavalier, Head of Fixed Income Research at Mercer. “Managers are meeting this demand with an increasing array of different types of fixed income strategies.”
2014 also saw a pick-up in activity for passive mandates which accounted for around 5% of total searches. Notably, there was increasing interest in “smart beta” passive strategies.
Mercer is a global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments. Mercer helps clients around the world advance the health, wealth and performance of their most vital asset – their people. Mercer’s more than 20,000 employees are based in 43 countries and the firm operates in over 140 countries. Mercer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), a global team of professional services companies offering clients advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy and human capital. With 57,000 employees worldwide and annual revenue exceeding $13 billion, Marsh & McLennan Companies is also the parent company of Marsh, a global leader in insurance broking and risk management; Guy Carpenter, a global leader in providing risk and reinsurance intermediary services; and Oliver Wyman, a global leader in management consulting. For more information, visit www.mercer.com. Follow Mercer on Twitter @MercerInsights.