Mercer investment funds rating service to roll out in Singapore and Asia

19 July 2018

Global consultancy Mercer is set to roll-out a fund-rating service for investors across Asia with an initial launch in Singapore.

Focused on funds available to individual investors, the FundWatch service has been designed by the global consultancy Mercer with a forward-looking research methodology which assesses long-term performance prospects, analysing specific characteristics to determine the likelihood of a fund outperforming over the market cycle – with the research and ratings available publicly online.

The issuer-paid analysis tool is specifically aimed at individual investors and their financial advisors, providing insights that have generally only been available to institutional investors till this point. According to the firm, the service will include a simple rating system focused on the ‘exposure’ a fund provides and ‘net-of-fee’ future prospects, along with a bulletin updating subscribers on any changes affecting the ratings.

“The dynamic of the wealth landscape is changing rapidly. Individual investors are taking on greater responsibility for their long-term savings to fund their retirement years. Mercer FundWatch is intended to give those investors and their financial advisors access to high quality analysis on funds that has typically been available to institutional investors,” said Beverley Sharp, Strategy Leader - Investment Research, adding that the new service would “present an opportunity for Mercer to demonstrate our research, expertise and knowledge in this field.”

Sharp continued; “Singapore is the first market in which Mercer will be launching this service. We believe that the focus on investor education and financial literacy here makes it the perfect place for the inaugural launch.” Mercer’s Wealth Business Leader for Asia, Janet Li, added; “I am thrilled this service is launching in Singapore, where individual investors and their financial advisors are investment savvy, aware of the importance of self-funding retirement, and are looking for tools to help them with that goal.”

Initially only available to investors and financial advisors based in Singapore, where Mercer has recently been on the hunt for an experienced Manager Research specialist, Sharp told the investments and pensions journal Asia Assets Management that Mercer is exploring the potential to expand the offering further across Asia, with the firm “looking at other markets in which the service might be of use to investors and their financial advisors… We will look to roll it out where we think it would be beneficial to them.”

With further Asian offices in the global financial capitals of Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo among 14 throughout Asia and operations in some 130 countries worldwide, the US-headquartered Mercer notes that its FundWatch offering is backed by the firm’s global investment research, which has provided the foundation for the firm’s advice on $11 trillion worth of investments spanning over 20 years, including for some of the world’s largest investors.


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Leading South Korean law firm Yulchon joins Taxand global network

19 April 2019

Global tax specialists Taxand has admitted a new member firm in South Korea; Yulchon, pushing the network’s representation to 48 countries worldwide.

Born in 2005 in the wake of the Enron scandal as an alternative, independent tax-focused enterprise, Taxand has since grown to include member-firms on every continent, with a collective headcount of over 2,000 advisors worldwide. Adding to that list; Yulchon, a leading South Korean business law firm with more than 400 lawyers and 80 tax advisors of its own.

“Joining Taxand allows us to provide clients with the highest quality, cross border tax advice,” said Yulchon tax partner Kyu-Dong Kim. “Taxand’s international network provides a positive differentiation from other East Asian tax and legal firms. Its reputation for independent, specialist expertise fits well with Yulchon’s culture and we look forward to strengthening both our local and international tax services.”

A 2017 Chambers and Partners’ National Law Firm of the Year winner consistently recognised for its innovation, Yulchon was founded in Seoul in 1997 by five of South Korea’s leading attorneys to create “a village of lawyers”, with two decades of organic growth seeing the firm add international offices in Shanghai, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Moscow, Jakarta and Yangon.Leading South Korean law firm Yulchon joins Taxand global networkAccordingly, with the admission of Yulchon to its network, Taxand has now significantly expanded its Asia presence – its coverage in ten key Asia Pacific economies (including Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and India) among the organisation’s representation in over 50 countries stretching to every corner of the globe, from Oslo to Melbourne and from Buenos Aires to Mauritius with the US and just about every European nation in between.

“Yulchon is a welcome new addition to the Taxand family, bolstering our strength in East Asia,” said Taxand Chairman Frederic Donnedieu de Vabres, a former Arthur Andersen consultant. “The firm will give our clients a broader scope of specialised tax expertise across the region. Our network has grown significantly in recent years and we look forward to working with our new colleagues and their clients.”

Be it in the areas of compensation, financial, energy, mergers & acquisition, real estate, disputes, or others, Taxand describes itself as entirely focussed on the tax aspects – “we do tax, and only tax. No audit or attest issues” – leveraging its global network to serve clients with their both local and international and cross-border tax advisory needs. In the US and UK the network is represented by Alvarez & Marsal affiliate A&M Taxand.