Mercer has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire SCM Strategic Capital Management, the Switzerland-based specialist private markets adviser.

Julio Portalatin, president and chief executive at the consultancy, said: “Mercer’s investment business has achieved excellent revenue growth, and SCM gives us an opportunity to build upon our outstanding global reputation.

“We are prepared to invest in areas where we see an opportunity to anticipate client needs and to strengthen our advisory and investment management capability.”

Phil de Cristo, president at Mercer Investments, said: “Increasingly, our investment clients are seeking advice regarding alternatives investment strategy, either through a custom portfolio or a delegated solution, and SCM is an excellent addition to Mercer’s already well-regarded alternatives capabilities.”

Stefan Hepp, founder and chief executive at SCM, said: “By maintaining SCM’s platform in Switzerland and its seasoned investment team, we will continue to partner with our clients to deliver superior returns and the high level of service that are hallmarks of our reputation.

“The combination of SCM and Mercer will result in a truly global platform with a substantial increase in manager research and investment management capabilities and will allow us to integrate ESG ratings in the due diligence process.”

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015, subject to conditions in the purchase agreement and regulatory approvals.

The intention is that the entire SCM investment team will join Mercer, with Hepp becoming global business leader for private markets at Mercer, and Ralph Aerni, CIO at SCM, becoming global co-CIO for private markets at Mercer alongside Mike Forestner, who is currently director of private markets at Mercer.

It is also intended that Hepp and Aerni will join the alternatives investment committee of Mercer.