Mercer: Biggest management fee drops came in equity accounts

Among money managers that reduced fees last year, the greatest declines were in equity mandates, with midcap U.S. equity retail and institutional mutual funds showing an average decrease of 0.22%, according to Mercer's 2012 Global Asset Manager Fee Survey, the fifth such biennial study released on Tuesday.

The study found Canada had the lowest money management fees, with average median fees for all accounts of around 0.3%. Average median fees in the U.K. and Europe are around 0.4% and 0.5%, respectively. Average fees for investments in emerging markets are most expensive at 0.89%, with Asia having an average median fee of 0.75%.

Alternatives showed the most movement, with hedge funds decreasing management fees toward 1.5% from 2%, a report about the study noted. Other alternative investment managers, including private equity, hedge funds and infrastructure, are showing a greater willingness to negotiate on fees, albeit in the same fee structure, Mercer stated.

Mercer analyzed data on more than 25,000 money management offerings from more than 5,000 investment management firms.