William M Mercer has pushed the assets managed by its master trust over the AUS$3bn mark for the first time, making it the largest master trust aimed exclusively at companies looking to outsource in-house staff pension funds in Australia.
The Mercer Retirement Trust (MRT) officially passed the AUS$3 billion mark with its recent acquisition of the 2000 member AUS$145m Ericsson staff superannuation fund. Mercer replaced Rothschild Australia Asset Management and Credit Suisse Asset Management which each held mandates of around AUS$50m.
But the milestone is the result of a series of acquisitions this year, including the AUS$350m pension fund of publisher John Fairfax and Age super funds and the AUS$140m staff fund of brewer Lion Nathan.
The achievement marks a period of impressive growth for the MRT, with the trust having swelled to its current level from a base of less than AUS$1bn 18 months ago.
The dramatic growth is as much an indication of the state of the corporate pension fund market in Australia as it is an endorsement for Mercer, with almost 100 company-run pension funds having disappeared over the last year alone, many of them outsourced to master trusts.
The trend is likely to see Mercer, traditionally more focused on consulting to superannuation funds in Australia, place even further emphasis on the master trust side of its operations.
Mercer expects half of its superannuation business to come from master trust clients within three years.
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