April 11th, 2018
By Mark Bell
In the past year and a half, Investment Metrics has faced one of its biggest tests. The investment analytics and reporting firm aced the challenge and landed its largest client to date.
Investment Metrics’ competence persuaded investment management and advisory giant Mercer to deploy the Darien firm’s technology across Mercer’s U.S. wealth-management business. Fully implemented in the past six months, the partnership has dramatically increased Investment Metrics’ reach and also positioned the company to chart a major international expansion.
“We are extremely happy and thrilled to have them as a client,” Investment Metrics Founder and CEO Sanjoy Chatterjee said in an interview last week at the firm’s Darien offices. “It speaks volumes of what we can do for clients of their size and what we can do globally when it comes to complex reporting for institutional clients.”
Mercer approached IM in the fall of 2016, asking the firm to do a “proof of concept” — essentially a pilot program. Not entirely satisfied with its previous reporting provider, whose contract was wrapping up, Mercer was looking for a higher-performing successor.
The test run finished in the spring of 2017. The full roll-out of IM’s technology across Mercer’s U.S. wealth-management business took place last fall.
“Our DNA goes back into the consulting world, where we started this business as part of a consulting firm, so we understood the requirements from the complexity of these asset classes,” Chatterjee said.
About 120 Mercer employees are now using IM’s platform to track the performance of assets of clients spanning the public and private sectors, including endowments and foundations, and whose holdings include defined-contribution and defined-benefit retirement plans.
“With any questions or issues that came up, Sanjoy and his team always responded in a very timely and efficient way,” said Jim Guilfoyle, Mercer’s U.S. head of performance reporting operations. “They always went above and beyond.”
As a result of the Mercer partnership, the total of IM clients’ institutional assets under advisement is jumping from about $10 trillion to some $17 trillion, according to IM data. Among key categories that make up the total, IM clients’ tax-exempt institutional assets under advisement are rising to about $5 trillion from a pre-Mercer tally of around $3.5 trillion. The new tax-exempt total will rank No. 1 among U.S data and investment analytics providers, according to IM.
Mercer could also deploy IM’s services in other countries. IM already has clients in Canada, and the firm is keen to expand into other regions such as Europe and the Asian Pacific Rim.
“This actually validates in the marketplace that we are the true leader when it comes to institutional-plan reporting,” Chatterjee said. “We are very passionate about that segment, and this allows us to entrench into new markets.”
To support its growth, IM plans to hire a few more people by the end of this year. About 20 are based in Darien, and another 16 work for the firm in Bangalore, India, assisting with research and development and back-office operations. Average employee tenure in the Darien offices exceeds 15 years.
IM also maintains an office in Chicago; Guilfoyle is based in the same city. The proximity is an asset, but not a primary reason for the partnership, Guilfoyle said.
“What stands out about the IM platform is the flexibility,” Guilfoyle said. “We’re able to integrate and use some of Mercer’s internal platforms with the Investment Metrics platform. There’s a great flow of data.”
IM was founded in 2010, after it was spun off from investment-consulting firm Rogerscasey. Since its founding, IM has operated in the Parklands Office Park, next to Selleck’s Woods and I-95. A senior residential complex is under construction on the same site, but IM plans to keep its current address.
“It’s a great location with the proximity to New York City,” said Chatterjee, a Norwalk resident. “We are very happy here.”
Source: Stamford Advocate
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