This content is for institutional investors and for information purposes only. It does not contain investment, financial, legal, tax or any other advice and should not be relied upon for this purpose. The materials are not tailored to your particular personal and/or financial situation. If you require advice based on your specific circumstances, you should contact a professional adviser. Opinions expressed are those of the speakers as of the date of the recording, are subject to change without notice and do not necessarily reflect Mercer’s opinions.
As 2022 comes to a close, insurance companies are facing significant price losses across their portfolios, particularly within long-duration fixed income. On the horizon are the risks of a global recession, peaking fundamentals, persistent inflation and energy crises, particularly in Europe.
We recently surveyed the insurance market globally to find out what their key concerns, challenges and opportunities are within their investment portfolios and how they plan to tackle these. With these findings in mind we have produced what we believe should be the top considerations for insurers in 2023.
To discuss the findings and the considerations, Colin Tipping, Global Head of Insurance Solutions is joined by Eryn Bacewich from the US team and William Gibbons from the UK/Europe team.
Where are we now as we reach the end of 2022? Economies have overheated and have begun slowing down, with some potentially in recession already. Are we there yet? Will monetary tightening lead to a deep recession?
Samantha Davidson US OCIO Leader is joined by Rupert Watson, Head of Asset Allocation, Europe and Anthony Brown, Director of Capital markets in the US at Mercer to explore.
2022 will certainly be remembered as momentous, and it may take some time to fully understand the ramifications of the events that occurred this year. Any of these events individually would likely have had a profound impact on markets, both public and private. However, in combination, these events, along with other relevant factors, have certainly pulled the rug out from under markets.
Billy Charlton, Global Head of Private Markets Data Analytics and Research is joined by Amarik Ubhi, Global Head of Infrastructure and David Scopelliti, Global Head of Private Debt to discuss how these significant events are affecting various private market segments and what we expect their ramifications to be in 2023.
2022 brought a combination of interconnected challenges for all investors including endowments and foundations, from geopolitical conflicts to high inflation, supply chain problems to financial market volatility.
In this episode, Cori Trautvetter is joined by Gilles Lavoie and Gareth Donegan to explore what we believe are the top considerations for endowments and foundations in 2023. They also explore the approaches that could support endowments and foundations in navigating through them to achieve long-term success, while managing short-term disruptions.
The past decade was one of the best on record for traditional 60/40 portfolios, but a sharp rise in macroeconomic volatility caused this period of success to come to an abrupt halt.
To explore what effect this has had on financial intermediaries globally, Conor Power is joined by Gregg Sommer and Adeline Tan as they also discuss what we believe are the top considerations for financial intermediaries as we transition into 2023.
This episode seeks to provide an overview of the insurance industry’s role in advancing climate resilience, with a particular focus on de-risking, funding and incentivizing ex-ante pre-event climate risk reduction and adaptation measures. It also explores the exciting new initiative being pursued by the United Nations’ Race to Resilience unit to accelerate and scale those efforts.
Leading the discussion is Francis Bouchard, the Managing Director for Climate for Marsh McLennan’s Advantage unit, who is joined by Dr. Swenja Surminski, Managing Director, Climate, Marsh McLennan – and a long-time Peruvian climate negotiator and UN Resilience Hub official Jorge Gastelumendi.
We have seen significant upheaval in global markets in the last twelve months, with a combination of the pandemic recovery, regional conflict, supply chain challenges and technological advancements having a profound impact on the world around us.
The impact of these events are similar to recent history, and allows us to draw on these experiences and adapt portfolios to the current landscape.
In this episode, Jo Holden, Global Head of Investment Research speaks with Nick White, Global Strategic Research Director and Matt Scott, Senior Investment Research Specialist, on the themes and opportunities we believe investors should consider in their decision-making in 2023 and beyond.
The blocking of the Suez Canal in May, 2021 demonstrated the vulnerability of global supply chains to disruptions to the world's, canals and waterways. The just in time nature of shipping means that there is limited redundancy, and these kinds of routes become pressure points for cascading risk. With increasing incidents of disruptive weather events driven by climate change, greater focus needs to be given to understanding these potential critical points of failure.
Nicholas Faull, Head of Climate and Sustainability, Risk and Innovation at Marsh is joined by colleagues Dr. Bev. Adams, Head of Climate and Catastrophe Resilience based in the UK and Scott Williams, ESG Coordinating Director for the Middle Eastern Africa region to explore the importance of this case study.
In this episode, Rachel Elwell, CEO of Border to Coast Pensions Partnership, discusses their journey to achieve net zero by 2050 with Mercer Research Heads, Rich Dell and Jo Holden. They also explore how to overcome some of the concerns around reaching a 1.5-degree world and how achieving net zero can potentially produce better investment outcomes.
Wealth managers face a combination of issues as global markets enter yet another period of uncertainty while their clients demand sustainable returns – so how are they meeting these challenges?
In this episode, Mercer colleagues and special guests joined us to discuss the findings from the 2022 global wealth management investment survey as well as the possible action points to help wealth managers around the world take the next step on their client and growth journey.
Evolution is change, and while change might be continuous, its pace may vary over time. The private markets investment landscape has certainly changed over the years since its beginning in the 1940s and has grown to become a ten trillion US dollar industry.
To discuss the evolution we have seen over the years Zeenat Patel is joined by Claudia Zeisberger, professor of entrepreneurship and family enterprise at INSEAD and founder of the Global Private Equity Initiative and Billy Charlton, Mercer’s global head of private markets, analytics and research .
Register to hear more from Claudia and Billy at the Mercer annual Alternatives Conference here
MIn this episode, Marg Franklin, President and CEO of the CFA Institute unpacks the 2022 Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index with lead author David Knox, a Senior Partner at Mercer.
Throughout, they explore the results of year’s index and discuss the significant challenges and important changes to the pension industry in the last year.
Mercer’s Damien Davis is joined by Rebecca Myatt, a Portfolio Manager with First Sentier Investors and Indira Sabitova, a Portfolio Manager with Mercer to explore both the potential benefits of listed infrastructure and what the future holds for the asset class.
The fear of recession is dominating everyone's mind-set at the moment. The global economy has been slowing and is likely to continue to do so on the back of high commodity prices, rising interest rates and tightening financial conditions more or less everywhere with China being the notable exception.
Central Banks are thought to have underestimated inflation expectations and are increasing rates quite aggressively. Where they are facing an economic cycle that differs from the past, will they get it right and what’s the cost if they don’t?
In this episode Vanessa Hodge, Mercer UK’s Sustainability Integration Lead is joined by Ashleigh Morris, CEO and co-founder of Coreo and Jillian Reid, Partner in Mercer’s global Sustainable Investment Team to discuss their recent Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC) discussion paper for investors on the circular economy. Also joining the conversation is Jamie Butterworth, who is a Partner at Circularity Capital, a specialist private equity firm providing access to investment opportunities created by the circular economy.
We canvassed the opinions and intentions of not-for-profit investors from around the world on a range of subjects, including sustainability, macro challenges reflected in the sector, the increase in allocation to private markets and the evolution towards seeking third party assistance to help them overcome challenges and achieve the objectives of their not for profit organisation.
Throughout this episode we will be joined by Mercer colleagues and special guests to discuss these 4 key considerations that were highlighted within the report as well as the range of possible action points.
To go straight to one of the key findings, see the chapters below:
1:45 - Macro concerns reflected in the sentiment of the sector
19:22- Private markets — The big migration
38:05- Outsourcing — Navigating the future with the right support
53:53 - Sustainability — Closing the gap between ethics and investment returns
Inflationary pressures that began bubbling during the Covid crisis have come to a head, and central banks are fighting it by engineering an economic slowdown. Risks remain high in some markets, in others there are grounds for optimism and buying opportunities.
Samantha Davidson, US OCIO Segment Leader is joined by Rupert Watson, Head of Asset Allocation, Europe and Anthony Brown, Director of capital markets, US to discuss the key findings from our 2022 mid-year outlook.
Performance of active equity strategies in Q1 2022 was challenging, leading to unfavourable relative returns over the quarter and, in a number of areas, over the last 12 months. This has raised questions over active management and how investors should respond to poor relative returns. Join Suzanne Lubbe and Victoria Goh from Mercer’s manager research team as they discuss why they believe investors shouldn’t give up on active management and what is the best way to think about the individual building blocks when constructing multi-manager equity portfolios.
Join Rupert Watson, Head of Asset Allocation Europe and Rachel Volynsky, CIO Canada as they discuss the outlook for equities after significant falls this year.
The FED has faced criticism for being too slow to tighten financial conditions, and to not notice or appreciate what was happening to inflation. With a recession seeming inevitable for many, Rupert and Rachel discuss whether they think we are heading for a recession, but importantly whether it will be a deep or mild recession. With Equity markets having corrected this year and signalling a return towards fundamental valuations, we ask is there more to go and will the FED intervene? Where can investors look for opportunities across developed markets, China and more broadly emerging markets.
Rich Nuzum, President of Investments & Retirement, Mercer discusses his perspectives coming away from Davos with International Head of Clients, Mark McNulty. Listen as Rich shares learnings and new ideas from meeting CEOs, governments, philanthropists, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs that could help tackle some of the world's biggest challenges.
Many investors lack significant experience of the private markets space and, therefore, require some understanding of how it fits into their portfolios.
In this episode, Amy Ridge is joined by Dr Ashby Monk, research director at Stanford University’s Long-Term Investing initiative, and Billy Charlton, Mercer’s global head of private markets data analytics & research, to discuss some of the biggest issues around private markets and what institutional investors should consider before putting their capital to work.
The level of portfolio protection from high-quality debt instruments that generations of investors have relied on is no longer there. Investors need more tools in the toolkit. Gold and some currencies can protect well, but are subject to idiosyncratic risks and are noncontractual; their protective capacities are essentially market conventions or rules of thumb. Contractual approaches to protection, specifically options on equity indices or on market volatility could also be warranted today, though these can raise issues over the cost of carry (spend on option premiums), which generates a drag on returns in persistently buoyant markets.
Given the need to manage a range of exposures dynamically, there is a role for hedge fund strategies, including macro managers, which may be better equipped at managing through a transitionary period. Furthermore, given the potential for higher correlation between equities and bonds, reducing exposure to traditional beta in favor of strategies that are expected to generate returns regardless of market direction has merit.
In this episode, Deborah Wardle is joined by Dave McMillan and Dr Sushil Wadhwani, Chief Investment Officer for PGIM Wadhwani to discuss some of the key questions surrounding the hedge fund investing landscape at the moment and in doing so, look to answer the question of whether hedge funds staging a comeback?
In this episode, Angelika Delen is joined by impact investing expert Charly Kleissner, PhD to discuss the difference between impact and deep impact investing, the importance of transparency and how investors need to work together to change finance as opposed to just financing change.
Charly Kleissner is an impact investor. He believes that the real meaning of wealth is to make a positive contribution to humanity and the planet. He is a leader of the deep impact movement which is not only treating the symptoms of our failing economic system, but its root causes – with a level of awareness and consciousness that is non-anthropocentric. He sees impact investing not as an intellectual exercise, but as an expression of who he really is.
Why is water, essential to life on earth, not more central to investors’ decision making?
In this episode dedicated to Earth Day, Mark Longbottom is joined by Helga Birgden and John Elmore-Jones to discuss their latest research into the importance of water, as a critical resource, when considering investments. They explore why investment into protecting water as core to people and the environment needs an urgent reset, and they outline what approaches investors can take to address the risks of overlooking the importance of investing in our planet.
Mercer has recently been working in partnership with the Valuing Water Initiative, CDP and the Water Footprint Network on a project to increase water-related transparency and awareness among financial institutions.
The Russia – Ukraine conflict continues to cause uncertainty for investors. Energy prices and Inflation continues to rise globally and the conversation has turned from transitory inflation to the possibility of stagflation.
Listen to Erin Lefkowitz and Rupert Watson as they discuss their outlook for interest rates, inflation and markets more broadly and the possible implications for portfolios.
Bitcoin and Gold are often compared to one another with Bitcoin having even been referred to as “digital gold”. In this episode, Nick White, Matt Scott and our special guest Urs Bolt, discuss the similarities, differences, and obstacles Bitcoin faces to make it mainstream amongst institutional investors.
Urs Bolt has 30 plus years’ experience in the financial services industry, mainly in wealth management, investment banking and banking technology business. His core expertise is to develop and roll out new digital business platforms. Urs’ current focus is helping FinTech and WealthTech companies and financial service providers review/refocus business strategies.
Urs is also co-initiator of the Swiss Open Wealth Association with the goal to accelerate the development of new ecosystems in wealth management and private banking. Beside that he actively contributes to the progress of the Swiss and global ecosystem in crypto finance as an opinion leader and a passionate lecturer in ecosystems in crypto finance in post-graduate courses.
The escalating conflict in Ukraine has resulted in far-reaching outcomes for financial markets and the global economy. Rich Nuzum, President of Investments & Retirement, Mercer, and Jo Holden, Global Head of Investment Research, discuss the conflict’s short and long-term implications for the real economy and for investment portfolios, what does this mean for energy prices, inflation and interest rates. They also provide a warm up session to our fast-approaching annual Mercer Global Investment Forum Europe on 28-29 March, and share sneak peaks of the key topics that will be covered. They explain how they find their own ideas for innovation, and the importance for investment professionals to gather as a community for shaping the global investments map. Moderated by Annabell Mathiesen-Siem, Mercer Norway CEO.
The Russia – Ukraine conflict is causing a lot of uncertainty for investors and is an evolving situation. The implications from the conflict and subsequent sanctions from global leaders are far reaching and yet to be fully understood. Join Susan McDermott, US Strategic Research Director and Rupert Watson, Head of Asset Allocation, as they discuss the potential impact on inflation, energy prices, trade and markets more broadly.
The resource transition is a term that refers to the sweeping changes, the world needs to make in a way that it extracts uses and disposes of its resources. Resources that range from energy to minerals to food and water and biodiversity. Carbon emissions have understandably been a key focus for attention to avoid or diminish the climate crisis. However, a wider lens is needed to sustainably service the food, water, housing, labor and transport needs of almost eight billion people. Biodiversity, adequate freshwater supplies and topsoil management are needed for food security; minerals for electric vehicles; and energy from sources such as nuclear and gas, given the intermittency of renewables. Put simply, a resource transition is needed, not simply an energy transition.
To discuss these challenges, Nick White Global Strategic Research Director, Mercer is joined by our 2 guest speakers form Impax Asset management. Chris Dodwell, Head of Policy and Advocacy, with over 25 years’ public and private sector experience in climate change, sustainable energy and environmental policy and regulation and David Li , Senior Portfolio Manager who co-manages both the Asian Environmental Markets Strategy and Asian Opportunities Strategy.
Advisors and their clients need to be adaptable to the challenges that lie ahead. Mercer has identified five areas for financial intermediaries to consider – areas we believe are critical for long-term success.
Read the top considerations for financial intermediaries in 2022 paper here.
Take the global wealth management survey here.
Endowments and foundations are facing an environment of rich equity valuations, ultra-low fixed-income yields, and newly awakened inflation, coupled with concerns on environmental and societal problems.
In this episode our not for profit specialists discuss the range of challenges and opportunities we believe endowments and foundations should be thinking about in 2022, and crucially how they can look to protect and position your investment assets.
Read the top considerations for endowments and foundations in 2022 paper here.
Take the global not for profit survey here.