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Mercer launches investment consulting in India

14 February 2008
Media Release

Mercer launches investment consulting business in India

Mercer, one of the world’s leading investment consulting firms, has expanded its investment consulting business into India, where it will research India-based asset and portfolio management service firms managing listed equities. This will complement its comprehensive global research coverage and form part of the investment consulting advice Mercer already provides to institutional clients worldwide.

Mercer’s global investment consulting business provides services to more than 2,750 clients with assets of over US$3.5 trillion in some 35 countries. Mercer provides investment advice and tools to institutional investors such as pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurers, foundations and endowments and, increasingly, retail intermediaries such as private banks and multi-manager funds.

Tony Cole, Mercer Worldwide Partner and business leader for Mercer’s investment consulting business in Asia Pacific, said that expanding into India was a natural progression for the business after it started operations in China a few months ago.

“As India opens up and invites more foreign investors, it follows that our business establishes a presence on the ground to research investment opportunities for our global institutional and retail intermediary clients. Mercer’s local presence will also help us evaluate the effect the growth of India has on the performance of other asset classes,” Mr. Cole said.

“As part of the launch of our investment consulting business in India, Mercer has appointed two research analysts in Mumbai and is planning in India to hire additional analysts with experience in alternative asset classes. These analysts join a global investment consulting group of some 610 consultants, which include 56 dedicated asset manager researchers. This team shares investment consulting insights globally and provides best-practice solutions in each market. Our established global practices enable us to hit the ground running and begin to provide meaningful services to Indian investors immediately,” Mr. Cole explained.

Mercer has appointed Ms. Rashmi Mehrotra as its business leader for investment consulting in India and head of the retail services unit for Asia Pacific. She and a dedicated team will provide investment consulting services to the Indian market. The focus will be on retail intermediaries such as private banks and wealth management firms. Ms. Mehrotra has more than 15 years of experience as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). She helped set up Mercer’s retail business in Australia four years ago and is currently rolling out an enhanced retail offer across Asia.

“India’s high-net-worth population growth is one of the fastest in the world. Indian high-net-worth investors are also amongst the most demanding and sophisticated clients. They demand institutional-quality investment research at prices that represent good value to them. At the same time, private banks face a shortage of qualified and experienced talent such as relationship managers. Mercer can help meet the needs of private banks by boosting their internal resources with Mercer’s high-quality, global institutional research, tools to deliver this research efficiently and targeted investment training for their staff,” Ms Mehrotra said.

Mercer has invited asset managers in all asset classes (including listed equities, debt, infrastructure, real estate and private equity) to register on its global investment manager research database GIMD (www.mercergimd.com), which enables its research team to initiate research coverage. GIMD subscribers account for over US$2.9 trillion of assets under management or advisement with the geographical distribution roughly one-third from each of the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. Approximately a third of GIMD subscribers are government agencies, one quarter are managers-of-managers and the remainder are largely plan sponsors.

“The Mercer GIMD platform is not only the central resource that Mercer consultants use to provide advice to clients, but approximately 80 large institutional investors subscribe to GIMD to access the research and information it contains on investment managers. Through highlighting the capabilities of Indian managers on GIMD we are providing the firms with the opportunity to benefit from exposure to our clients globally,” Mr. Cole said.

ENDS

About Mercer:
Mercer is a leading global provider of consulting, outsourcing and investment services, serving over 25,000 clients worldwide.
Mercer consultants help clients maximise the effectiveness of their employee health, welfare and retirement programs, and optimise workforce performance while managing costs. The firm provides customised administration, technology and total benefit outsourcing solutions. Mercer’s investment services include global leadership in investment consulting, retirement plan design and governance, and multi-manager investment management. Mercer’s global network of 17,000 employees, based in more than 40 countries, ensures integrated, worldwide solutions for clients who wish to establish global policies and procedures while allowing for the flexibility to accommodate local cultural, legal and regulatory requirements. Our locally based professionals are also available to serve mid-size companies and to address country specific issues and opportunities.

For more information, visit www.mercer.com.au

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