Mercer’s Global Manager Search Trends

Investment Management Trends. Did you know?

  • The Mercer global search trends shows that throughout 2018 Mercer advised clients on 756 searches, leading to US$50.3 billion of assets being places in new mandates.
  • Search activity dropped notably in 2018. There was a fall of nearly 25% in the number of searches, with 29% fewer assets placed when compared to 2017. While this year-on-year decline should be seen in the context of a spike in activity in 2017, searches in 2018 were still lower than in any year over the last decade. This decline was seen across most asset classes and regions. This continues the long term trend of declining search activity since 2010, and reversing the temporary increase seen in 2017. As highlighted in previous years, this decline is a result of rapidly maturing Defined Benefits (DB) segment of the pension fund industry in many markets, the growth in the number of Defined Contribution (DC) schemes and the increased use of OCIO, delegated solutions and insourcing by many institutional investors.
  • Within asset classes, there was little change in the most popular areas of search activity. Global Equity and Global Fixed Income remain the areas with the most searches by both number and assets, accounting for 19% of all searches globally and 33% of all assets. The dominance of these areas is consistent with previous years. However, we do note that the number of Global Fixed Income searches in particularly fell notably in 2018, with a third fewer searches and nearly half the volume of assets compared to 2017. While most areas saw a decline, Emerging Market Equity and Alternative Risk Premia strategies both saw increases in activity over the year. Despite the declines across most asset classes and regions, there were some increases. Asia was the one exception from a regional perspective, where a few significant searches (predominately in Global Equity) led to the highest number of searches from the region over the last 10 years. Although Europe witnessed a decline in search activity it did witness an increase in assets placed, with most of these assets being placed in multi-asset and fixed income asset classes.

Industry Intelligence: Get the Latest Data on the Asset Classes Selected by Pension Plans, Endowments, Foundations, and Other Institutional Investors.

Obtain a unique insight into the investment manager searches Mercer is conducting for its clients by accessing real-time data tailored to what you want to know  (aggregated by asset class, and updated quarterly) by subscribing to the MercerInsight Trends module. A sophisticated yet simple-to-use cloud-based platform for institutional investors to access all of Mercer’s research on investment managers.

Subscribers gain valuable business intelligence through the information and analysis found within the MercerInsight Trends module, including access to the underlying search data (aggregated by asset class, and updated quarterly) and the ability to view and identify asset categories gaining most interest by asset owners.

Please fill out the form below if you would like more information on how to gain access to the Trends module and your local representative will contact you.


Source: Mercer. Click to enlarge infographic.

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MercerInsight Trends Module allows you to understand trends in asset manager searches, with ability to manipulate aggregate data, allowing bespoke filtering and reporting. This same module will allow you to compare your investment management fees against those of other managers (in aggregate) for similar products. 

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