GLOBAL - Mercer, the pensions and investment consultant, has split out its investment manager research into individual asset class ‘boutiques', in a bid to provide its pension consulting clients with more specialist investment manager data.

Officials say the firm will initially create separate fixed income, equity, bond, real estate and alternative investment research teams to deliver primarily larger clients whose "complex strategies require a high level of detailed knowledge" with the analysis of the market they might now expect from specialist research houses.

A spokeswoman for the firm said no decision has been made as to whether information and fund research on alternative investments would be split down into separate teams too.

The move means Mercer intends to more than double the size of its existing real estate and alternatives research teams, so will boost the proposition from 72 staff in manager research, including its 60 dedicated research managers.

Andrew Kirton, global head of Mercer's investment consulting business, said he hoped the move to deliver specialist research would "in time" make it "the pre-eminent global research engine not only in equities and bonds but also in a number of asset classes in the alternatives space."