Global manager search activity was down last year compared with 2004, particularly in the United States, according to a report from Mercer Investment Consulting detailing client activity. The total dollar amounts involved in searches also decreased globally in 2005. As first reported earlier today on Pensions & Investments' website, pionline.com, Mercer advised on 748 global manager searches last year that involved $76 billion in institutional assets, down 2% and 10%, respectively, from 2004.
The number of defined benefit searches in the U.S. decreased but the total assets involved increased. Mercer advised on 117 defined benefit searches last year, a 26% decline, while total assets in those searches rose 5% to $9.2 billion.
Overall search activity in the U.S. experienced a considerable downturn due to "reduced defined contribution search activity," the report said. Last year, Mercer advised on 164 defined contribution searches, a 63% decrease from 2004. The report said that search activity in this area was "unusual" in 2004, experiencing a significant spike following the mutual fund scandals in 2003. Last year, according to the report, search activity returned to "more normal trends." The amount of assets involved in the defined contribution searches was not available.