Australia, July 13, 2021 – Growing its local specialist expertise in alternatives and private markets, Mercer has announced the appointment of Marcus De Kock in the role of Alternatives Investment Director for the Pacific region. De Kock’s appointment follows strong consulting and multi-manager growth for the $15.96 trillion USD global asset consultant (assets under advisement as at June 30, 2020), as well as significant client interest in alternative asset classes in the Pacific region.
Previously a senior investment strategist in Mercer’s UK Institutional Investment Solutions business, De Kock is responsible for bringing Mercer’s global alternatives capabilities to asset owners in Australia and New Zealand.
De Kock said he was looking forward to working with Mercer’s broad range of clients on the opportunities that alternatives could deliver.
“We know that alternative investments have the potential to offer enhanced return opportunities, diversification and protection against inflation. In the current environment of near-zero cash rates and low bond yields, we’re encouraging our clients to explore the opportunities that alternative asset classes can provide to reach their investment goals, by increasing their exposure to private and unlisted assets,” he said.
Simon Eagleton, Mercer’s Investments Leader in Pacific, said clients would benefit significantly from best-in-class alternatives investment programs across private markets.
“Our substantial global alternatives capabilities have to date flown largely under the radar in the Pacific. But, the role that private markets can play in investors’ portfolios is more important than ever. With Marcus on the ground, we’re in a better position to ensure our clients can take advantage of our specialist private markets credentials to enhance their portfolios,” Mr Eagleton said.
“Bringing together manager research, advisory services, portfolio management and investment operations expertise, we are well placed to offer market-leading alternative investment solutions to our clients in Australia and New Zealand,” he said.
Globally, Mercer has approximately $160 billion USD in global alternatives assets under advisement and approximately $22 billion USD in global alternatives assets under management as at June 30, 2020.
As a result of greater demand locally for alternatives and portfolio diversification, in November 2020 Mercer launched to external investors an Australian-domiciled version of its Global Private Debt Fund, which had been internally managed since 2014. This fund has seen solid interest from long-term investors, including university endowments, insurers and superannuation funds, with total committed capital of $563 million AUD as at 31 March 2021.
Prior to joining Mercer UK in 2018, De Kock gained 13 years of experience in asset class research, investment advisory and consulting services for institutional investors in the UK, providing specialist investment advice on a range of asset classes, including strategic asset allocation consulting, portfolio construction, manager selection and advice implementation.
Mercer believes in building brighter futures by redefining the world of work, reshaping retirement and investment outcomes, and unlocking real health and well-being. Mercer’s approximately 25,000 employees are based in 43 countries and the firm operates in 130 countries. Mercer is a business of Marsh McLennan (NYSE: MMC), the world’s leading professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people, with 76,000 colleagues and annual revenue of over $17 billion. Through its market-leading businesses including Marsh, Guy Carpenter and Oliver Wyman, Marsh McLennan helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment. For more information, visit www.mercer.com.au. Follow Mercer on Twitter @MercerAU and LinkedIn