Outsourced CIO (OCIO) & Investment Solutions

Our outsourced CIO (OCIO) and investment solutions may help you focus company resources on what matters most — your people and business strategy — and less on managing your retirement plan.

Balancing investor risks, returns and reputational requirements, has become an increasingly complex challenge. Investors need to be in a position to make efficient decisions. They therefore need access to the right expertise and resources. That’s why many investors are looking externally for strategic portfolio management advice, access to manager research and support with asset allocation and day-to-day operations.

Investors are using outsourced investment solutions to address a range of common challenges. These include cost pressures, operational inefficiencies, resource constraints, regulatory changes, manager sourcing, accessing private market opportunities, integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues into portfolios, and impact investing.

More and more investors are recognizing the benefits of collaborating with external and unbiased financial service providers. However, some reservations and myths remain. These are addressed below.

Evolving with your objectives in mind

Corporations and not-for-profit organizations of all sizes often find that managing financial assets can distract leadership teams from focusing on their businesses. Today’s asset owners need to be razor-focused on making better, more-informed decisions regarding their investment strategies. At Mercer, we let you decide how you want to work with us, and we work to make the outsourced chief investment officer, or OCIO, process simple and transparent.
Whatever the objective, plan sponsors can rely on us for a range of investment solutions, from research and advice to full investment outsourcing (OCIO). Our OCIO and Investment Solutions professionals can assist in setting investment strategies that leverage our investment capabilities across our global enterprise — and by fusing economics with empathy.

Fully customized OCIO and investment solutions

As an early entrant to OCIO, our platform offers strategic allocation advice, dynamic asset allocation positioning, manager selection and implementation.

We can assume discretion to adjust market exposure relative to long-term targets when we expect emerging opportunities or mounting threats — always within your risk tolerance.

Is managing your defined contribution (DC) plan pulling you in too many directions?

What trends are driving DC plan sponsors to consider outsourcing, some for the first time?

Common myths about investment solutions and OCIO

Using the Target Interaction Model to transform into a people-centric HR organization is supported by trends in HR roles.

These solutions are basically the same, with different terminologies used in different regions. Whatever name is used, they all aim to provide portfolio solutions that help institutional investors meet their financial goals more efficiently. We call them investment solutions. We can help you to determine the tools and strategies that can work best for your portfolio(s). We are very flexible and will work with you in a way that best suits your needs.

Our clients always remain in control. We flex our services to suit your needs, and all investment decisions are made according to your stated objectives and risk appetite. By assigning certain day-to-day portfolio management responsibilities to our team, you will benefit from the expertise of a large and experienced partner. We will help you manage the risks in your client portfolios and identify new market opportunities. We will also reduce the burden of implementation, monitoring and reporting. This will give you time to focus on the more important responsibilities within your role.

Every investor is different, with their own goals, objectives and challenges. Regardless of the size of your portfolio and firm, we can help by providing bespoke investment strategies. These will be implemented, managed and monitored by specialists aligned with your interests.

You can choose the solutions that suit you. We offer everything from bespoke investment-strategy design and implementation to the monitoring of managers. We are here to support you, and can flex to meet your changing requirements along the way.
We let you decide how you want to work with us, and we work to make the OCIO process simple and transparent.    
Jennifer Kruse

US OCIO Leader, Mercer

Three steps for optimizing your investment process

Your investment strategy and oversight processes should support your investment goals. There are three stages to consider as part of this review.
  1. Review and adapt your governance framework
    It is vital to keep your portfolio on track. If you need to improve your governance operating model, our investment solutions can provide the support you require, both now and in the future.
  2. Assess your portfolio against your future objectives
    Understanding how investments are performing takes vigilance. Investors must also search for new opportunities in order to future-proof their portfolios. We can help you have confidence that your investment strategy reflects your risk, return and reputational requirements. 
  3. Test your ability to adapt and respond to market movements
    You need to be in a position to rebalance your portfolio quickly and effectively if you are faced with market volatility. We can help you install optimized decision-making processes. These can help ensure your portfolio is responsive and aligned to your outcome requirements.

Jen Kruse, Mercer's US OCIO Leader, explores our OCIO solution

Solutions to help you achieve your investment goals

Many investors seek guidance and support with investment strategy design, manager research and strategic asset allocations. They also look for assistance with the day-to-day operations of their investment programs. We call these services investment solutions. Investment solutions can also be referred to as outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) , delegated solutions, or fiduciary management solutions.

Our investment solutions offer a range of tools to help you solve your investment challenges. They provide the support of investment professionals, while still allowing you to maintain control over your investments. They will give you added confidence and can help reduce your workload.

  • Governance and due diligence

    Leverage our expertise to expand your governance capabilities and improve your due diligence processes. This will help you to identify optimum investment opportunities.
  • Risk management

    Be better prepared with our risk-management framework. This will help you navigate today’s most pressing risks and tomorrow’s potential hurdles.
  • Investing sustainably

    If you want to benefit from long-term investments that match your sustainability goals, we aim to help you make choices that will help to deliver true societal gains, alongside a good return potential.
  • Manager research and sourcing

    We can help you optimize your investment strategy by engaging our global research network and accessing some of the world’s best investment managers and ideas.
  • Implementation services

    We will gain an understanding of your goals and then work as an extension of your team. We’ll help you improve your investment governance, management and implementation. Contact us to find out more.
  • Alternative investments

    Gaining exposure to private assets or hedge funds can diversify a portfolio’s risk and return profile, while aiming to increase its capacity to deal with market volatility. Leverage our expertise in the field to boost your access to new opportunities.

Addressing complex investment challenges

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