Addressing strategic risks
What are the key strategic risks wealth managers are facing?
How is Mercer supporting wealth managers in addressing those risks?
Wealth managers, family offices and other financial intermediaries face a broad range of challenges as they prepare their businesses to adapt to life after the immediate impact of the pandemic. The culmination of equity and bond market bull runs, a barrage of new regulation, squeezed profit margins – as well as the pressing need to become more sustainable – has led many firms to seek new solutions that can lay the foundation of profitable growth while delivering good outcomes for clients. We work with these clients to create custom solutions that are aligned to their priorities. We help them retain control over their investment proposition, mitigate risks, reduce costs wherever possible and improve their clients’ overall experience.
Investment research required to create portfolios designed to perform requires significant depth and breadth with enhanced investment and operational oversight. Find the latest insights and manager research at your fingertips through our solutions:
Speaking to a specialist can help you build a strategy that is aligned to your firms’ and your clients’ needs, allowing you to establish a framework for today and evolve for tomorrow. We advise on asset allocation, portfolio construction, manager selection and oversight, risk oversight and ESG.
Single and multi-asset class investment strategies, using managers highly rated by Mercer,[SD1] could help you reduce costs, manage your risk and build resilient portfolios. You can delegate as much or as little to us as you like.
Our 200 manager research specialists based around the world connect you to the managers we rate highly. Our global footprint enables us to uncover new and noteworthy managers and investment strategies designed to deliver consistent returns for your clients.
Asset allocation is the most important decision for an investor. Our team of specialists can provide our standard reference portfolios or work with you to build a customized suite of portfolios across the risk spectrum that reflect the unique circumstances of your client base.
We can help improve your efficiency and competitiveness with your clients. Our multi-manager strategies provide a range of fund options across asset classes and risk profiles. Branding alternative funds under your own name can also help you differentiate your offerings and provide more value to your clients.
Strategic and dynamic asset allocation
Access to research and intellectual capital
Access to lower fees through our global scale
Access to expertise outside of internal team
Despite having USD $15 billion in investable assets and USD $10 billion in liquid assets, a universal bank with three internal distribution channels had restricted investment research capabilities, poor access to private markets and limited access to high quality managers. It wanted to consolidate third-party manager relationships, reduce asset management costs, and tighten up its investment and operational due diligence. It also was looking for a platform partner to source and implement funds through third-party managers.
We developed a bespoke solution with strategic and dynamic asset allocation and fund selection, supported by our research and intellectual capital. The client benefits from net cost savings of around 30%, including Mercer fees, which amounts to explicit asset management cost savings of USD $3 to $5 million a year. The client also expects to make implicit savings through legal, research, outsourced implementation, by using Mercer as extension of their internal team for certain resourcing requirements.
Mythbusters / Q&A
Mercer is known as a trusted adviser – how can you help a wealth management business?
Mercer has been advising a wide range of organisations on their many varied needs for more than 75 years. We are primarily a people business and our focus is on working with clients to achieve their own specific goals. We also provide our clients with investment strategy design and operational expertise, offered by specialist teams around the world. This enables our financial services clients to benefit from our scale and experience to add value within their own organisations.
As a people business, our first job is to take the time to listen to what you need. We strive to understand the specific issues each client faces, both now and in the future, partnering with them to create a tailored solution that focuses on their long-term goals and shorter-term pressures. We also recognise that things can change quickly, so draw on our experience to build a solution that can flex with them over time.
Secondly, we are impartial, with no ties to any particular provider. Thanks to our heritage as an institutional investment consultant, we have built a research capability that covers a wide global range of managers spanning every asset class, including private and illiquid portfolios. We select managers solely on quality and monitor them for shifts in strategy and operational failings.
This allows us to construct and implement portfolios, designed by our strategy and asset allocation specialists, which are based on diversification, risk management and have the nimbleness to try to exploit opportunities as they arise. Our scale helps us to negotiate potential discounts on manager fees, which are passed directly to our clients.