Merrill Lynch Investment Managers will launch a new institutional advisory group this quarter, MLIM officials said at a press briefing today. The new initiative, MLIM's global strategic advice and implemented solutions group, will target corporate plan sponsors with more than $1 billion in assets, said Frank Porcelli, COO of MLIM in the Americas. The group will provide institutional investors with more customized, client-specific investment strategies to manage their pension assets. It will assess plan sponsors' individual investments needs and provide clients with MLIM's asset management strategies.
MLIM will tap other Merrill Lynch businesses to give clients more customized services, Mr. Porcelli said. The group will focus on offering, for example, liability-led investment strategies, portable alpha strategies to institutional clients, as well as providing institutions with customized derivative strategies in a fiduciary capacity.
The firm has provided institutional clients with similar advisory services in both the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, but the launch will formalize the efforts globally and emphasize the United States for the first time, Mr. Porcelli said. MLIM will hire people with backgrounds or experience with "high-profile" plan sponsors for the SAIS group throughout 2006, he said.