Not-for-Profit



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Mercer serves more than 250 not-for-profit organizations, ranging in asset size from $2 million to nearly $2 billion

What We Do


Mercer serves more than 250 not-for-profit organizations, ranging in asset size from $2 million to nearly $2 billion. This broad base allows us to sharpen our expertise every day. From alternative investment strategy and governance structures to gifts and investment earnings models, we distill insights that we continually share with our clients.

 

Why Mercer


Not-for-profits occupy a special investment niche. Gathering only once a quarter means that board members have to contend with unfamiliar rhythms. Still, they want their investments of time and money to bring the greatest possible returns. We understand these dynamics — and we tailor our service to make them work. 

 

How We Make a Difference


UNIQUE RESOURCES


We have been honing our skills in providing personalized investment services to endowments and foundations for two decades. In turn, the resources and immediacy of our global network give clients access to a world of connections and alternative investment expertise in areas from hedging and private equity to socially responsible investing and real estate. You receive every one of our services with the utmost personal attention. 

 

CLEAR COMMUNICATION


Given the need to balance goals and set investment objectives, it is essential that everyone firmly grasps priorities and the thinking behind them. Most not-for-profit board members work outside finance, though, and may not have the savvy to speak “Wall Street Journal” language. We help ensure that everyone — from educator to magnate — understands how the board has addressed its goals each step of the way.

 

Mercer Understands Needs Of Not-For-Profits


Not-for-proft organzations around the world are providing financial and emotional support to people around the world at a time when governments have had to reduce social support in order to stem their debt flows and stabilize their economies.

 

Fund raising has become challenging and is inconsistent year on year, but is even more critical to those in need. Mercer understands these types of organizations need guidance and support when growing these funds and ensuring a steady return. 

 

Specialists dedicated to endowments, foundations, not-for-profit healthcare, and private wealth clients, and have an in-depth understanding of the issues facing our clients in each area, meet the team in St Louis, who for 20 years have provided advice to organizations.

 

As major global investment markets come off a strong 2013, Mercer has a new Mercer/Journal article, Global Investment Opportunity And The Return To Normalty, that provides an overview of what's ahead.

Mercer Hammond


Mercer Hammond offers a broad spectrum of services including investment policy creation and documentation, economic and strategic outlooks, asset allocation review, manager due diligence and performance reporting.

 

Learn More

 


Mercer Hammond 2014 Non-Profit and Private Wealth Client Conference



We are pleased to share with you some of the highlights from our 2014 event.  And stay tuned for details on our 2015 Investment Summit, September 16th – 18th at the Chase Park Plaza, St. Louis, Missouri.

 

Learn More

 

/content/dam/mercer/1000x282/business-related/img-FM000369a-1000x282.jpg

Mercer understands these types of organizations need guidance and support when growing these funds and ensuring a steady return

 

LATEST RESEARCH & PUBLICATIONS


HEALTH SYSTEM MERGERS REQUIRE RETHINK OF DC PLANS
 

This paper provides a brief overview of defined contribution (DC) plan considerations facing health care organizations that engage in M&A activity. We also include a high-level comparison of 401(k) and 403(b) plans, key issues with plan mergers, the potential loss of church plan status, the importance of DC retirement plan governance, and regulatory changes.
 

Find out more



A TRILOGY ON RETURN AND RISK FOR ENDOWMENTS & FOUNDATIONS
 

Some aspects of risk can take a back seat when endowments and foundations (E&Fs) focus on comparing their performance to that of their peers. But E&Fs are exposed to many types of risk because of their high allocation to alternatives, their complex funding and spending structures, and diversity among their constituencies. We believe that we have an opportunity to redefine the concepts of return and risk in the E&F context.

•   A New Approach to an Old Concept — Improving investment policy by refining risk management
•   Integrating Expectations — Human nature and the plight of the investment committee
•   Lessons in Diversification — The limits of diversification
 

Find out more




NEW MONEY MARKET FUNDS REGULATIONS
 

On July 23, 2014, the SEC issued a set of reforms for Money Market Funds. The rules have been amended to address risks of a run on MMFs, and are to be implemented in the next two years. These changes are only applicable to money market mutual funds regulated by Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act of 1940.
 

Find out more



SHOULD ICD-10 IMPACT INVESTMENT STRATEGY?
 

Perspectives on the market outlook and valuations over a medium-term horizon are significant drivers for investors. View Mercer's summary of return assumptions and relative valuations on a number of asset classes, pairs and styles.
 

Find out more



More publications can be found on www.mercer.us/services/investments/research-and-financial-markets

10 Priorities for Endowment and Foundation Boards and Investment Committees in 2015


Find out more

 


10 Steps Non-Profit Health Care Organization Should Take in 2015


Find out more

/content/dam/mercer/1000x282/business-related/img-FM000369a-1000x282.jpg

We recognize that you are unique, and with over 250 not-for-profit clients we understand your investment needs

Each Organization is Unique


Our consultants take the time to learn the specific circumstances of your organization and to understand the philosophy and objectives of your investment committee. With this knowledge, they provide timely advice and guidance at the appropriate level.  Not-for-profit organizations have certain challenges that other institutional investors do not face, such as fundraising and the need for a steady income to support their beneficiaries. We understand that your challenges are many and varied, and as such, we offer a broad spectrum of advisory services:

 

  • Economic and strategic outlooks
  • Asset allocation review
  • Governance
  • Investment policy review and development
  • Investment manager due diligence and recommendations
  • Performance reporting
  • Spending review
  • Fee analysis and benchmarking

Our dedicated consulting team will access the broad expertise of Mercer to evaluate the relevance of both strategic and tactical ideas to your specific portfolio. 

HOW MERCER CAN HELP
 

We believe in proactive consulting and do not wait for clients to call us or give clients portfolio options without providing our recommendation. We partner with our clients to meet the challenges they face. Connect with us, and let us be your trusted partner

 

Since the real world is complex and dynamic, we pride ourselves on helping our clients constantly innovate and adapt to the ever-changing environment around them. With over 110 research and investment professionals across the globe, we provide coverage on more than 5,130 managers of alternative and traditional investment strategies. We offer extensive research and thought leadership on a range of issues targeted to your needs. Read more

/content/dam/mercer/1000x282/business-related/img-FM000369a-1000x282.jpg

Mercer's outsourced solution combines customized strategic asset allocation advice with robust mult-manager structure, including top-tier alternatives managers

Are You Getting the Most Out Of …
 

  • Your portfolio managers?
  • Your investment committee?
  • The fees you pay?

Mercer’s outsourced solution combines customized strategic asset allocation advice with a robust multi-manager structure, including top-tier alternatives managers. Our experts provide continuous portfolio oversight through a disciplined, rigorous, and well-documented governance process.
 

  • Customize the asset allocation decision to your specific requirements.
  • Dynamically adjust the allocation based on valuations.
  • Use traditional and alternatives managers highly rated by Mercer.
  • Obtain cost savings from Mercer’s scale.
  • Receive real-time management and strategy execution.
  • Reduce administrative burden on committee and staff.

Maximize Returns


The ratio of giving to assets tends to be relatively high, requiring a higher return on assets in order to maintain the value of the portfolio. Funding can vary greatly from one year to the next, especially if it is based on a percentage of the company’s pre-tax profits.

 

Manage Risk


Finding an appropriate level of risk can be challenging, given the relatively higher spending rates associated with corporate foundations. We understand the complexity of the risk landscape for the endowment and foundation community and have experience balancing the various risks with the need for stability and growth. 

 

Align Goals


Build a portfolio that aligns with the strategic objectives of the foundation. Society increasingly expects businesses to take on increased responsibility for their social and environmental impacts. As part of our manager research process, we assign an environmental, social, and governance rating to investment managers. This can be used to align the foundation’s objectives with its investment portfolio. 

 

Stay Cost Effective


Managing the costs associated with building an alternatives portfolio is critical. Using our economies of scale, we have been able to negotiate significant fee discounts and reserve capacity with a number of the world’s most soughtafter alternatives managers — a benefit that gets passed directly to our clients. Our implemented services incorporate our best thinking in manager research, portfolio design, and implementation, and we are pleased to offer our clients this service for a very competitive single fee of 0.50% per year.

 

>> Read more about our capabilities when working with not-for-profit organizations

STRATEGY

 

One of the most important decisions a committee will make and must be customized to your specific requirements. With our expertise of researchers and investment consultants, we can provide a tailored approach for you based on 40 years of investment consulting experience.

 


IMPLEMENTATION

 

Multi-manager solution providing you with strategies expected to produce alpha and maintain diversification. We can provide you with diversified investment strategies.

 


EVALUATION AND RISK ASSESSMENT


 

Disciplined process to proactively adjust the portfolio to meet the institution’s goals. We can monitor risk exposures and your managers, and keep abreast of organizational changes.

 


EXECUTION

 

End-to-end solution for committees to grow assets over time in a timely, disciplined, and cost-effective manner. We can adjust your portfolio to take advantage of market opportunities as they arise. 

CONTACT OUR SPECIALISTS

*Required Fields

ABOUT US

Mercer serves more than 250 not-for-profit organizations, ranging in asset size from $2 million to nearly $2 billion

What We Do


Mercer serves more than 250 not-for-profit organizations, ranging in asset size from $2 million to nearly $2 billion. This broad base allows us to sharpen our expertise every day. From alternative investment strategy and governance structures to gifts and investment earnings models, we distill insights that we continually share with our clients.

 

Why Mercer


Not-for-profits occupy a special investment niche. Gathering only once a quarter means that board members have to contend with unfamiliar rhythms. Still, they want their investments of time and money to bring the greatest possible returns. We understand these dynamics — and we tailor our service to make them work. 

 

How We Make a Difference


UNIQUE RESOURCES


We have been honing our skills in providing personalized investment services to endowments and foundations for two decades. In turn, the resources and immediacy of our global network give clients access to a world of connections and alternative investment expertise in areas from hedging and private equity to socially responsible investing and real estate. You receive every one of our services with the utmost personal attention. 

 

CLEAR COMMUNICATION


Given the need to balance goals and set investment objectives, it is essential that everyone firmly grasps priorities and the thinking behind them. Most not-for-profit board members work outside finance, though, and may not have the savvy to speak “Wall Street Journal” language. We help ensure that everyone — from educator to magnate — understands how the board has addressed its goals each step of the way.

 

Mercer Understands Needs Of Not-For-Profits


Not-for-proft organzations around the world are providing financial and emotional support to people around the world at a time when governments have had to reduce social support in order to stem their debt flows and stabilize their economies.

 

Fund raising has become challenging and is inconsistent year on year, but is even more critical to those in need. Mercer understands these types of organizations need guidance and support when growing these funds and ensuring a steady return. 

 

Specialists dedicated to endowments, foundations, not-for-profit healthcare, and private wealth clients, and have an in-depth understanding of the issues facing our clients in each area, meet the team in St Louis, who for 20 years have provided advice to organizations.

 

As major global investment markets come off a strong 2013, Mercer has a new Mercer/Journal article, Global Investment Opportunity And The Return To Normalty, that provides an overview of what's ahead.

Mercer Hammond


Mercer Hammond offers a broad spectrum of services including investment policy creation and documentation, economic and strategic outlooks, asset allocation review, manager due diligence and performance reporting.

 

Learn More

 


Mercer Hammond 2014 Non-Profit and Private Wealth Client Conference



We are pleased to share with you some of the highlights from our 2014 event.  And stay tuned for details on our 2015 Investment Summit, September 16th – 18th at the Chase Park Plaza, St. Louis, Missouri.

 

Learn More

 

RESEARCH

Mercer understands these types of organizations need guidance and support when growing these funds and ensuring a steady return

 

LATEST RESEARCH & PUBLICATIONS


HEALTH SYSTEM MERGERS REQUIRE RETHINK OF DC PLANS
 

This paper provides a brief overview of defined contribution (DC) plan considerations facing health care organizations that engage in M&A activity. We also include a high-level comparison of 401(k) and 403(b) plans, key issues with plan mergers, the potential loss of church plan status, the importance of DC retirement plan governance, and regulatory changes.
 

Find out more



A TRILOGY ON RETURN AND RISK FOR ENDOWMENTS & FOUNDATIONS
 

Some aspects of risk can take a back seat when endowments and foundations (E&Fs) focus on comparing their performance to that of their peers. But E&Fs are exposed to many types of risk because of their high allocation to alternatives, their complex funding and spending structures, and diversity among their constituencies. We believe that we have an opportunity to redefine the concepts of return and risk in the E&F context.

•   A New Approach to an Old Concept — Improving investment policy by refining risk management
•   Integrating Expectations — Human nature and the plight of the investment committee
•   Lessons in Diversification — The limits of diversification
 

Find out more




NEW MONEY MARKET FUNDS REGULATIONS
 

On July 23, 2014, the SEC issued a set of reforms for Money Market Funds. The rules have been amended to address risks of a run on MMFs, and are to be implemented in the next two years. These changes are only applicable to money market mutual funds regulated by Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act of 1940.
 

Find out more



SHOULD ICD-10 IMPACT INVESTMENT STRATEGY?
 

Perspectives on the market outlook and valuations over a medium-term horizon are significant drivers for investors. View Mercer's summary of return assumptions and relative valuations on a number of asset classes, pairs and styles.
 

Find out more



More publications can be found on www.mercer.us/services/investments/research-and-financial-markets

10 Priorities for Endowment and Foundation Boards and Investment Committees in 2015


Find out more

 


10 Steps Non-Profit Health Care Organization Should Take in 2015


Find out more

ADVICE

We recognize that you are unique, and with over 250 not-for-profit clients we understand your investment needs

Each Organization is Unique


Our consultants take the time to learn the specific circumstances of your organization and to understand the philosophy and objectives of your investment committee. With this knowledge, they provide timely advice and guidance at the appropriate level.  Not-for-profit organizations have certain challenges that other institutional investors do not face, such as fundraising and the need for a steady income to support their beneficiaries. We understand that your challenges are many and varied, and as such, we offer a broad spectrum of advisory services:

 

  • Economic and strategic outlooks
  • Asset allocation review
  • Governance
  • Investment policy review and development
  • Investment manager due diligence and recommendations
  • Performance reporting
  • Spending review
  • Fee analysis and benchmarking

Our dedicated consulting team will access the broad expertise of Mercer to evaluate the relevance of both strategic and tactical ideas to your specific portfolio. 

HOW MERCER CAN HELP
 

We believe in proactive consulting and do not wait for clients to call us or give clients portfolio options without providing our recommendation. We partner with our clients to meet the challenges they face. Connect with us, and let us be your trusted partner

 

Since the real world is complex and dynamic, we pride ourselves on helping our clients constantly innovate and adapt to the ever-changing environment around them. With over 110 research and investment professionals across the globe, we provide coverage on more than 5,130 managers of alternative and traditional investment strategies. We offer extensive research and thought leadership on a range of issues targeted to your needs. Read more

IMPLEMENTATION

Mercer's outsourced solution combines customized strategic asset allocation advice with robust mult-manager structure, including top-tier alternatives managers

Are You Getting the Most Out Of …
 

  • Your portfolio managers?
  • Your investment committee?
  • The fees you pay?

Mercer’s outsourced solution combines customized strategic asset allocation advice with a robust multi-manager structure, including top-tier alternatives managers. Our experts provide continuous portfolio oversight through a disciplined, rigorous, and well-documented governance process.
 

  • Customize the asset allocation decision to your specific requirements.
  • Dynamically adjust the allocation based on valuations.
  • Use traditional and alternatives managers highly rated by Mercer.
  • Obtain cost savings from Mercer’s scale.
  • Receive real-time management and strategy execution.
  • Reduce administrative burden on committee and staff.

Maximize Returns


The ratio of giving to assets tends to be relatively high, requiring a higher return on assets in order to maintain the value of the portfolio. Funding can vary greatly from one year to the next, especially if it is based on a percentage of the company’s pre-tax profits.

 

Manage Risk


Finding an appropriate level of risk can be challenging, given the relatively higher spending rates associated with corporate foundations. We understand the complexity of the risk landscape for the endowment and foundation community and have experience balancing the various risks with the need for stability and growth. 

 

Align Goals


Build a portfolio that aligns with the strategic objectives of the foundation. Society increasingly expects businesses to take on increased responsibility for their social and environmental impacts. As part of our manager research process, we assign an environmental, social, and governance rating to investment managers. This can be used to align the foundation’s objectives with its investment portfolio. 

 

Stay Cost Effective


Managing the costs associated with building an alternatives portfolio is critical. Using our economies of scale, we have been able to negotiate significant fee discounts and reserve capacity with a number of the world’s most soughtafter alternatives managers — a benefit that gets passed directly to our clients. Our implemented services incorporate our best thinking in manager research, portfolio design, and implementation, and we are pleased to offer our clients this service for a very competitive single fee of 0.50% per year.

 

>> Read more about our capabilities when working with not-for-profit organizations

STRATEGY

 

One of the most important decisions a committee will make and must be customized to your specific requirements. With our expertise of researchers and investment consultants, we can provide a tailored approach for you based on 40 years of investment consulting experience.

 


IMPLEMENTATION

 

Multi-manager solution providing you with strategies expected to produce alpha and maintain diversification. We can provide you with diversified investment strategies.

 


EVALUATION AND RISK ASSESSMENT


 

Disciplined process to proactively adjust the portfolio to meet the institution’s goals. We can monitor risk exposures and your managers, and keep abreast of organizational changes.

 


EXECUTION

 

End-to-end solution for committees to grow assets over time in a timely, disciplined, and cost-effective manner. We can adjust your portfolio to take advantage of market opportunities as they arise. 

CONTACT OUR TEAM

Recent Activities

Mercer

Endowment and Foundations Top Priorities for 2015 — Mercer

Mercer’s endowment and foundation (E&F) experts have assessed 2105 challenges and found key priorities of focus for trustees, boards, and investment committees.  Learn More

Mercer

Top Investment Steps Not-For-Profit Healthcare — Mercer

Mercer’s dedicated health care practice has identified 10 investment steps not-for-profit healthcare organizations should take in 2015.  Learn More

Mercer

DC plan considerations facing health care organizations that engage in M&A activity — Mercer

DC plan considerations facing health care organizations that engage in M&A activity.  Learn More

CONTACT US

    • ASIA PACIFIC
    • Pacific Investments
    • Australasia Email + 1800 512 947
    • CANADA
    • Frank Belvedere
    • Montreal Email +1 514 841 7547
    • EUROPE
    • Lucy Tusa
    • London Email +44 20 7178 6941
    • UNITED STATES
    • Chris Adkerson
    • St. Louis Email +1 314 982 5717