This content is for institutional investors and for information purposes only. It does not contain investment, financial, legal, tax or any other advice and should not be relied upon for this purpose. The materials are not tailored to your particular personal and/or financial situation. If you require advice based on your specific circumstances, you should contact a professional adviser. Opinions expressed are those of the speakers as of the date of the recording, are subject to change without notice and do not necessarily reflect Mercer’s opinions.


Latest episodes

Gold and Bitcoin – birds of a feather or chalk and cheese?

March 2022

Bitcoin and Gold are often compared to one another with Bitcoin having even been referred to as “digital gold”. In this episode, Nick White, Matt Scott and our special guest Urs Bolt, discuss the similarities, differences, and obstacles Bitcoin faces to make it mainstream amongst institutional investors.



Urs Bolt has 30 plus years’ experience in the financial services industry, mainly in wealth management, investment banking and banking technology business. His core expertise is to develop and roll out new digital business platforms. Urs’ current focus is helping FinTech and WealthTech companies and financial service providers review/refocus business strategies.

Urs is also co-initiator of the Swiss Open Wealth Association with the goal to accelerate the development of new ecosystems in wealth management and private banking. Beside that he actively contributes to the progress of the Swiss and global ecosystem in crypto finance as an opinion leader and a passionate lecturer in ecosystems in crypto finance in post-graduate courses. 

Russia and Ukraine. What are the possible implications for markets?

March 2022

The Russia – Ukraine conflict is causing a lot of uncertainty for investors and is an evolving situation. The implications from the conflict and subsequent sanctions from global leaders are far reaching and yet to be fully understood. Join Susan McDermott, US Strategic Research Director and Rupert Watson, Head of Asset Allocation, as they discuss the potential impact on inflation, energy prices, trade and markets more broadly.

  • Episode 10 - The big debate | September 2021


    The big debate

    September 2021


    US Interest rates: where to from here?
    With the Fed likely to start tapering their bond purchases this year, attention will soon turn to when they will raise interest rates and how high they will get. Will rates stay at exceptionally low levels or might we see the sort of levels we saw before the Great Financial Crisis?


    Is it Japan’s time to shine?
    Japanese equities have been unloved for a long time, but is the tide turning? The outlook for the economy doesn’t seem to have changed enormously, but some investors are becoming more optimistic on the outlook for Japanese equities. We’ll discuss the reasons why or whether investors should avoid.


    The High yield trade
    Credit spreads are very tight. Does this mean returns are likely to be poor or will low default rates and other factors support the asset class?

  • Episode 9 - Curiosity vs. Conviction | August 2021


    Curiosity vs. Conviction

    August 2021


    How do investors move from curiosity to conviction when it comes to increasing diversity in their portfolios?



    Our panel will discuss how LPs could achieve greater diversity, whether based on portfolio requirements, board demands, or the opportunity set. To “add diversity,” investors must not only answer important questions, they must know what those important questions are. We will discuss how to start the crucial conversations around gender and racial equity necessary for creating a diverse portfolio.


    Is Diversity and inclusion different to ESG?

  • Episode 8 - Net zero or fake zero? | August 2021


    Net zero or fake zero?

    August 2021

    Institutional investors, in growing numbers, are announcing their aims to reduce portfolio emissions to net-zero, with almost half of global assets estimated to be pledged to meet climate change goals.


    The drivers are two-fold: the near-term risks and opportunities presented by the low-carbon transition already underway, plus the expectation that a 1.5°C climate scenario will allow investors to consistently meet return objectives over multiple decades.


    But behind the flurry of recent announcements to set alignment targets, how is investment in the transition tracking? Will pledges be implemented and what happens if not? What approaches are investors adopting? What’s working and what obstacles remain?

  • Episode 7 - Cryptoassets – mania or marvel? | July 2021


    Cryptoassets – mania or marvel?

    July 2021

    In this episode, Rupert is joined by colleagues Elizabeth Paine and Matt Scott to discuss developments in the world of cryptoassets and the wider digital ecosystem they underpin including decentralized finance.


    Whilst it is tempting to dismiss most or all of the thousands of cryptoassets and their use cases as being part of a very old story, the get rich quick scheme, Matt and Lizzie will attempt to convince Rupert that there may indeed be some flowers on the dungheap.


    As well as discussing the potential for upside in these assets, they will also discuss recent challenges to cryptoassets, including regulatory action and responsible investment concerns.

  • Episode 6 - What’s going on in equity markets? | June 2021


    What’s going on in equity markets?

    June 2021

    Equities have come a long way over the last 15 months with some non-tech companies at last outperforming popular technology names. Rupert Watson, will be chatting with Larry Vasquez and Jan-Hein van den Akker, about whether this will continue and discuss the implications of recent signs of inflation and the possibility of higher bond yields over the next few years.

  • Episode 5 – Transformational investing | June 2021


    Transformational investing

    June 2021

    Global systemic risks could significantly influence investor returns and long-term objectives in both positive and negative ways. Investors should understand what these risks are, along with the opportunities they may also bring, and implement an efficient strategy to integrate them into their portfolios.

    Join our guest speakers, as they discuss their findings from our recent white paper - Trendsetters: Transformational Investment Practices of Advanced Investors, and how we developed a framework for addressing global systemic trends that investors can use to benchmark their progress against their peers.

  • Episode 4 - Diversity, Equity and Inclusion | May 2021


    Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

    May 2021

    The focus on diversity, equity and inclusion within the workplace has been increasing for several years but has been accelerated by Covid. Hear why it is important, how we include it in our managers research and how each of us as individuals can make a difference.

  • Episode 3 - The rise of China? | April 2021


    The rise of China? 

    April 2021

    The Chinese economy is now entering into a new phase of development that we believe will help it become a moderately prosperous nation by 2035 and to achieve full modernisation by 2050. We assess the opportunities and challenges of this transition and explore what this means for global investors and capital markets.

  • Episode 2 - Reflation looms? Are you ready? | March 2021


    Reflation looms? Are you ready?

    March 2021

    Inflation fears are rising. After 10 years of inflation being too low that might actually be good news. But what are the implications for bonds, equities and portfolio construction more generally?


    Niall O’Sullivan (EMEA & Asia CIO) and Nick White (Global Strategic Research Director) join Rupert Watson to discuss their views on the topic on every investor’s lips.

  • Episode 1 - Biden, Brexit and Bitcoin | February 2021


    Biden, Brexit and Bitcoin

    February 2021

    Join Rupert Watson and Susan McDermott as they discuss the transition from the Trump to the Biden administration and what effect this might have on climate change, the China/US relationship. They’ll share their views on whether they see opportunities in Bitcoin and China in addition to sharing Mercer’s latest house views and what this means for markets more broadly.

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