KOREA - Mercer has set up an investment management business in Korea to help local institutional investors take advantage of global market opportunities.
The firm said its investment management solutions will complement the financial services it plans to offer in the country, including investment research and advice, actuarial valuations, financial modelling and other related services designed for Korean institutional investors, fund managers, multinational pension plans and Employee Retirement Security Act (ERSA) vendors.
The move follows a year-long analysis of the Asian market by Mercer. Korea and China have been the entry points for the firm, but it also has plans to roll out an implemented consulting service in Japan. (Global Pensions: 02 August 2011)
"We want to help Korean institutional investors access a range of assets globally to build more diverse and therefore more robust investment portfolios so that they are better able to deal with market volatility and achieve investment objectives," said Kwang Lee, Mercer's Korea head of investment management.
"Many of our clients ask us how to optimise their investment portfolios. We tell them it's mostly about optimising their strategic asset allocations to strike the right balance of assets. Investors often think of their journey towards an investment goal in terms of travelling along a road or well-beaten path. But if it were like that, investing would be easy and relatively predictable."
Lee added: "Investing is really a lot more like walking a high-wire tightrope. Finding the right balance is just as critical to an investor as it is to a tightrope walker. It's something that requires skill, concentration, perseverance, and the nerve to see it through successfully. It also requires patience and an appreciation that reaching the ultimate goal cannot be rushed, but must be achieved through small steps, each one carefully placed. At Mercer, we can help investors with every single step."
The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) is in the process of convening an industry-wide group to take forward the work of the Institutional Disclosure Working Group (IDWG).
The Transfers and Re-registration Industry Group (TRIG) has given its support to an initiative which aims to complete occupational pension transfers within three weeks.
Scottish Widows has completed a bulk annuity deal for the Hitachi UK Limited Pension Scheme.