Mercer expands sustainable investment capabilities after ‘surge’ in net zero interest

Mercer has expanded its sustainable investment (SI) capabilities to what it sees as a growing demand from clients looking to manage investment risk and return linked to climate change and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) drivers.

The team includes new hires to the global sustainable investment practice based in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Switzerland, US and UK. The company also continues to increase its focus on sustainability in manager research, and has appointed Sarika Goel to the newly created role of global head of Sustainable Investment Research.

Goel has been with Mercer since 2010, and has led Mercer’s coverage of sustainable themed investment strategies within listed equities.

Mercer said it has seen substantial asset growth in its range of sustainable-oriented funds over the last 12 months.

For example, Mercer’s Sustainable Global Equity Fund has more than doubled its assets to exceed $2 billion at 31 Mar 2021. This growth, it said, has been propelled by a surge in investor interest in funds that seek to deliver strong and sustainable investment returns by positioning for the transition to an economy with low or net zero carbon emissions as well as other sustainable investment trends.

Helga Birgden, global business leader, Sustainable Investment, Mercer said: “As the world experiences seismic environmental and societal changes, we are committed to helping our clients consider how these shifts impact their portfolios. Through our forward-looking research on the impact of climate change and on sustainability in investments, as well as our accompanying advice and solutions, we are supporting clients in pursuing better investment outcomes.”

Birgden added: “Leading up to COP26, there is ambition among leading funds to demonstrate strong credentials in sustainability in their investment programs. Since forming its dedicated specialist team in 2004, Mercer has long backed such client ambition. We help meet our client’s investment objectives with global research, sustainable investment advice and sustainable investment solutions in the context of growing stakeholder expectations.”

Mercer is part of Marsh McLennan, which has pledged to be carbon neutral in 2021 and to reduce its carbon emissions by 15% by year-end 2025.

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