GLOBAL - Mercer Investment Consulting (Mercer IC) experienced a drop in the number of manager searches it conducted in Europe excluding the UK, as well as in the US, during 2006, but denied any loss of business.
Despite this fall, the global consultancy firm said recorded activity in Asia almost doubled from 44 searches in 2004 to 83 in 2006, through which placed assets reached US$11bn.
Mercer IC's global and European head of research, Andy Barber, told Global Pensions: “Revenue grew in Europe substantially and there is continually increasing interest in alternative investments.”
Barber said: “There is and always will be great demand for global equities.”
He added that the figures did not mean the firm had not lost business but rather there were less searches going on.
Global equities accounted for 31% or $29bn in assets placed following its searches, according to Mercer IC.
Meanwhile, the company cited Asia’s outward focus on investment which has been opening up to offshore investment as the main reason for the surge in business in the region.
According to the data, the number of defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) scheme searches conducted by Mercer declined slightly from 117 to 110.
However, the company said the value of assets placed in DB searches continued to exceed the assets placed in DC searches.
DB / other searches conducted by Mercer IC totalled $8.2bn compared to $2.3bn for DC searches, said the company.
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