Research investment beliefs — identifying alpha

Our unbiased, independent research allows you to navigate an uncertain market. We go beyond just performance numbers to provide forward-looking insights that span the diversity of the global economy and allow you to introduce new investment ideas to your clients.


Active management can generate repeatable excess return. However, it is rare. At Mercer, we believe using a manager research process enhances the probability of identifying alpha. The process is:

  • Research-driven — A fundamental, forward-looking and research-intensive process that builds on a deep understanding of each investment strategy covered.
  • Evidence-based — Focused on characteristics of investment strategies that have been shown to enhance the probability of sustainable alpha generation, which can vary over time, and by the asset class.
  • Repeatable — A robust and consistent framework that assesses each strategy’s capabilities in four areas: idea generation, portfolio construction, implementation, and business management.¹
  • Flexible — There is no single answer or one-size-fits-all approach — flexibility and experience are required to focus on the relevant characteristics for a given strategy


Discovering the best managers — the best ideas

Through our in-depth, sophisticated global manager research, we can help you differentiate your business and have access to what we believe are the best ideas and a diverse range of portfolios. This also gives you more time to focus on client service and development. As one of the largest investment consultancies worldwide, we continue to invest in our intellectual capital. That means we devote a great deal of time to exploring new and smaller managers who are launching new strategies — the fund manager stars of tomorrow. And with our global reach, we’re able to meet them in-person anywhere in the world from New York to Sydney to Hong Kong and Singapore.


We believe that our research stands apart from the rest. While investment data available to financial intermediaries has been commoditized and does not distinguish one firm from another, Mercer’s deep research and due diligence process synthesizes not only the data but the insights from interviews to go beyond what’s publicly available. With more than 135 dedicated research professionals worldwide, we’re able to dive deep into the disciplines and competitive edge of investment managers. The end result? Forward-looking research that provides both qualitative insights and quantitative analysis, continually evolving to identify and assess any changes that could impact a portfolio. 

Our research process

From gathering data, prioritizing candidates to worldwide due diligence, ratings, and selection of candidates, we follow a highly rigorous and consistent research framework that enables objective and consistent comparison. The process includes idea generation, portfolio construction, and implementation. Here are factors we assess:

How strong is the manager’s ability to generate value-adding investment ideas?
How effectively are these investment ideas translated into weighting in the portfolio?
How much of the value-add is given back in the form of transaction costs and opportunity costs?


Power your investment with MercerInsight®

As part of the research process, MercerInsight plays a key role. This easy-to-use, cloud-based tool for monitoring and selecting investment managers provides access to insights and analytics on 6,100+ managers and 33,000+ strategies. Designed as the engine for our own internal staff, it’s made available to manager selection teams at pension plans, endowments, insurance companies and financial intermediaries around the world who value its rich content for idea generation and manager monitoring.


For institutional investors — MercerInsight provides global, comprehensive coverage of the products available and the ability to view a wide range of information from quantitative analysis on performance and holdings data to the ratings and recommendations from Mercer’s global manager research boutiques.


For investment managers — MercerInsight offers a performance evaluation tool that enables quantitative analysis with the ability to compare not only to the manager’s benchmark but also to more than 350 Mercer‑constructed peer groups and more than 800 market indices.


Want your firm visible to our global manager research team?

Our Global Investment Manager Database (GIMD™) is a proprietary, real-time database with information on more than 6,100 investment managers. GIMD makes your firm visible to Mercer’s global manager research team that conducts several thousand meetings with investment managers each year to identify investment strategies suitable for our clients.


Mercer FundWatch - modern ratings for modern investors

Individual investors are taking on a greater share of the responsibility for securing their financial future. These investors and the financial advisors they trust need the tools to make smarter investment decisions as they seek better investment outcomes. Individual investors and their financial advisors are watching – are your funds rated?


Mercer FundWatch is an investment ratings service providing research and ratings on funds available to individual investors and financial advisors.


  • Delivers high-quality, forward-looking research on funds and a simple rating system
  • Focuses on the “exposure” a fund provides and net-of-fee future performance prospects
  • Offers access to a Mercer news bulletin that highlights changes affecting rated funds

Fund Managers


  • Get a star rating from a global leader in manager research
  • Forward-looking methodology means even new funds can get a rating
  • Highlight your top funds to investors

Financial advisors and fund distributors


  • Enhance your existing due diligence process
  • News bulletins help you stay ahead of investors' questions and concerns
  • Access research at your fingertips through the publicly available website




Provides information on 6,100+ investment managers


          Please See Important Notices For Further Information.


          1  Data is as of June 2018.


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