GLOBAL – Mercer’s consulting margin has slipped to 13.9% in the third quarter from 14.3% a year ago, according to parent company Marsh & McLennan.

“Mercer’s revenues in the third quarter increased 15% to 690 million dollars from 600 million dollars,” MMC said. “And operating income rise 12% to 96 million dollars.” It said that “strong revenue growth in Europe and Asia” partially offset modest declines in North America.

Mercer’s revenues are broken down into retirement services, health care and group benefits, human capital, management change and economic consulting segments.

Retirement consulting revenues rose six percent to 300 million dollars. Health consulting rose seven percent to 99 million dollars and human capital was up eight percent at 100 million dollars.

MMC also owns asset manager Putnam Investments, whose operating income rose to 136 million dollars while revenue slipped to 507 million dollars from 522 million dollars. Investment management margin rose to 26.8% from 22.2%.

Putnam's total assets under management at the end of the quarter were 272 billion dollars, 14% up on the prior year period. Institutional assets were up 31% to 101 billion dollars.

MMC chairman Jeffrey Greenberg said Mercer and Putnam are positioned to take advantage of demographic trends.

“Demographic trends in the developed world and the need for a private sector response to retirement issues will provide important opportunities for growth,” he said. “Putnam and Mercer will be well positioned to take advantage of these growing markets."

Greenberg added that the addition of Mercer Oliver Wyman strengthens MMC’s risk management capabilities.

Overall, MMC’s revenues rose 11% to 2.8 billion dollars while net income rose 19% to 357 million dollars.