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Mercer says it's cooperating with US SEC

US – Mercer Investment Consulting is “fully cooperating” with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s investigation into the pay arrangements of pension fund consultants in the US.

The disclosure comes as Mercer’s sister company, Putnam Investments, has received subpoenas in connection with its relationships with consultants.

The SEC began an investigation into the practices, compensation arrangements and disclosures of pension consultants in December, the so-called “pay to play” probe.

“Mercer Investment Consulting Inc. has received requests for information from the SEC in connection with this examination and is fully cooperating,” said parent firm Marsh McLennan in a regulatory filing.

The SEC has sent letters seeking information to many US investment advisory firms.

Meanwhile, MMC added that its Putnam asset management subsidiary has received subpoenas from the Massachusetts Securities Division and the New York attorney general’s office “relating to Putnam's relationships with consultants retained by multi-employer deferred compensation plans”.

The subpoenas also relate to “plan expense reimbursement agreements between Putnam and certain multi-employer deferred compensation plans which are Putnam clients” the filing said.

It added: “The Massachusetts Securities Division has taken testimony from a number of Putnam employees relating to the same matters.”

Last month Putnam made a total settlement of 110 million dollars in the market-timing affair.

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