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Mercer Global seeks strategic partnerships to access UK

Manager of managers specialist Mercer Global Investments is entering the UK retail market through a limited number of strategic partnerships with insurance companies and will be adding three new funds to its range.

MGI says it is in discussion with prospective partners which will bring brand recognition and administrative resources to the proposition.

Until now, MGI has focused on the institutional market, particularly pension schemes, and started expanding its Mom business into Europe last October.

The company believes advisers and their retail clients should have access to its investment manager research skills, resources and experience but it does not have the brand recognition or administrative resources to target this market on its own. Instead, it wants to build partnerships of a similar nature to Scottish Widows’ link with multi-manager specialist Russell and Standard Life’s relationship with Wilshire Associates.

The company has segmented the UK market into four categories – traditional retail, mass affluent, private wealth and stakeholder. It plans to have one or two strategic partnerships in place for each segment.

Its Mom funds will not be available across all open architecture platforms as the company does not want to be viewed as an asset-gatherer.

It already has a range of Moms, including traditional equity and bond offerings as well as risk-graded portfolio funds, but will add UK and European property funds and possibly a fund of hedge funds over the next couple of months.

Principal and head of business development, Europe, Amit Popat says: “We think retail investors should have access to institutional asset managers who do not have a retail business but who are good at what they do.

“We will have a limited number of partnerships and are not interested in putting ourselves on all the platforms. There is a temptation for a lot of business to form multiple partnerships but we do not want to be seen as asset gatherers.”

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