UK- Mercer Investment Consulting has launched an internet-based global custody database that it says will produce a more up to date and efficient source of information for pension plans, foundations and investment managers.

The new online service is the custody equivalent of Mercer’s global investment manager database that holds information on more than 8,000 investment strategies offered by 1,700 money managers.

It centralises the information Merceer’s holds on custodians and although the service is not yet available to clients, Mark Walker, head of the European custody group, says this is something they are considering.

Previously consultants had to answer an annual questionnaire but now they are able to enter the secure website and update their details. Credit ratings, assets under custody and other data that change regularly can be refreshed more often.

“It allows us to be more efficient in supplying custody data and information to clients,” says Walker. Putting past data into the system will allow easier comparison of custodians’ services and fee structures with their competitors’.

Says Stacy Scapino, head of the global custody and asset administration group: “the database allows our consultants to develop an in-depth understanding of each custodian’s offering and internal control environment.”