Two new series of Perspectives have been launched by consulting firm Mercer, one issued by its equity boutique and the other by its bond boutique. The publications join their alternatives boutique’s offering, which premiered in February of this year, and are expected to be issued twice annually; the alternatives boutique is scheduled to publish its second Perspectives in the fall of 2010.
The publications, available to clients, offer articles on several topics within each issue. The equity issue, with a launch date of June, contains three pieces. The first is on best execution within a portfolio, just what constitutes best practices, and how clients and consultants can ask the right questions of their investment managers to determine whether best practices are in use.
The second article tackles the question of fees, their effects on investment managers, and how a fee structure can best be devised to reward performance over the long, rather than the short, term – thus rewarding investment skill rather than luck.
A third piece is a Q&A with Deb Clarke, global business and investment leader for Mercer’s equities boutique, about the growing interest in, and challenges and risks of, emerging markets.
Articles in the bond publication, issued in July, also explore three subjects. First is an examination of the role high-yield bonds can play versus equities in a down market, rather than riding out the lows by holding equities.
Second is a closer look at the pros and cons of mezzanine debt, which is graded lower than senior secured debt, but above equity, within a corporation’s capital structure. Mezzanine debt is presented as an opportunity, according to the article, since a “cresting tidal wave” of maturing non-investment grade corporate debt is due to occur in 2014. Last is a Q&A with Alan Papier, principal at Mercer, and Alex Thompson, senior associate within Mercer’s manager research team, on mirroring the globalization of markets, asset management firms, and investment strategies.
Mercer provides research in a number of areas within its consultancy for clients worldwide.