|Manager, DC Investment Services|
|Mercer is a global leader for trusted HR and related financial advice, products, and services. Mercer seeks to enhance the financial and retirement security, health, productivity, and employment relationships of the global workforce.|
|Investment Consulting Solution: Mercer LLC|
| Comprehensive research solution|
I manage the investment services group for Mercer’s
401(k) outsourcing business, assisting our plan sponsors and their consultants with investment manager due diligence and other investment-related issues.
At Mercer, we develop highly specific criteria to create proprietary peer groups of funds that are appropriate for retirement plans. Morningstar Direct is extremely helpful because it provides a volume of valuable data that is more accurate and up-to-date than other providers’ offerings.
Robust separate account coverage
Morningstar has done a great job building a collective trust and separate account database that’s available in Morningstar Direct, as well as a database of stable value managers.
|More of our clients are using these investments because of issues like fee transparency and cost. Because this data is very hard to come by, this has been a competitive advantage for us. |
Holdings and performance over time
Morningstar Direct’s holdings-based data allows us to target which managers our clients should consider. I can pull this data for today, or go back 10-12 years on these funds to see a manager’s consistency over time. I can see whether a fund’s market cap is in line with its particular benchmark over its history.
Morningstar Direct is also great for performance data. I can look at performance at a single point in time, or run custom time periods. This way I’m not overlooking good managers by ruling out a fund based on one bad year or a shorter manager track record.
| Understanding risk at the portfolio level |
Our clients appreciate that we can illustrate the full spectrum of their risk exposure within a portfolio using Morningstar Direct. For example, we can illustrate exposures such as sector, geography, and valuations for the fund versus its benchmark. This helps clients understand their risks, if areas of the market perform a certain way.