Mercer Update l Responsible Investing - Mercer New Zealand

Responsible Investment – A Mercer Update

We understand that some of our customers are interested about the various types of investments held by the Mercer-managed schemes and how their own savings are invested.

Mercer is committed to complying with all the relevant laws of New Zealand and appropriate ethical standards, and, if you are a KiwiSaver member, to the default KiwiSaver provider criteria.

We can report that we have no direct exposure to companies which manufacture cluster munitions or land mines.

We believe in taking an investment view that goes beyond traditional financial analysis and consider a wide range of risks and opportunities to create and preserve long-term investment capital. We consider factors that support sustainability, such as good governance, consideration of environmental and social impacts on assets, as well as the associated policy and regulatory implications.

You can read our Sustainable Investment Policy here.

Mercer’s investment management style

As a manager-of-managers, Mercer selects specialist investment managers for each sector, thereby delegating the selection of securities to those managers.

We have more than 100 staff involved in manager research which allows us to track over 5,400 managers and more than 26,000 investment strategies across the globe. Each investment option is carefully constructed and we monitor every manager on behalf of our investors.

Within our global shares portfolio, we mostly engage managers by way of an investment management agreement, which allows Mercer to specify the investment policy. This policy requires managers to exclude companies which manufacture controversial weapons.

Our funds also invest in other pooled funds to increase diversification and investment efficiency. This includes investment in exchange traded funds (‘ETFs’), which provide cost-effective access to a basket of securities set by the relevant index.

In these circumstances, the managers of the underlying funds set the guidelines for these funds and, as such, the exclusions which we apply elsewhere may not occur at this level.

To address the potential for unintended, indirect exposures to excluded companies identified within our policy, we have initiated a review of our current approach. The key objective of this review is to further strengthen our ability to control the exposure to specific sectors and companies. Our review may also consider whether to exclude any sectors additional to the controversial weapons referred to above.  

We anticipate for this review to be completed in November and if any changes are required these will be implemented in 2017.

Investment Choice

As with any investment it is important that it is suitable to your personal circumstances. It is important that you seek advice from an appropriately authorised financial adviser.

We will continue to evaluate options available to you.  More information about the options can be found online at www.mercerfinancialservices.co.nz or on the disclose register.

Other resources

We are transparent about how and where we invest. You can find information about each of our managers and the underlying companies on the disclose register managed by the Financial Markets Authority. We encourage investors to take an interest, review their own investment choices and ask questions about where and how their money is invested.

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