Historically, FX costs have been opaque and very hard to manage and the new service is designed to help bring greater clarity and control of FX costs. The launch of this service reflects the growing interest that investors are paying to foreign exchange execution costs following recent lawsuits against a number of institutions alleged to have applied uncompetitive foreign exchange rates.
Due to the opaque nature of FX markets there has been a lack of investor oversight on FX transactions often leading investors to pay more for trades than they should, which can erode the value of their assets considerably. Through Mercer’s new service, pension funds and other institutional investors can request reviews of all spot and forward FX transactions undertaken at multiple trading locations to determine the competitiveness of transactions undertaken on their behalf. It is Mercer’s experience that FX costs can be substantially reduced by undertaking an FX monitoring programme.
Ben Gunnee, European director at Mercer Sentinel, says: “Many investors focus their attention on the overall portfolio performance rather than drivers of cost. This often means that perfectly avoidable costs are incurred. Our enhanced FX service provides clear analysis and recommendations on how to address current excessive costs and prevent recurrence.”