Integrated Actuarial and Investment Solutions
River and Mercantile Solutions is a leading institutional investment and actuarial advisor and fiduciary manager. We are dedicated to providing our clients with the understanding and tools to successfully meet the investment goals of their institution. River and Mercantile Solutions is a division of River and Mercantile Group PLC, which is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange (Ticker: RIV).
We believe we are still in the Stable phase of the market, although recognize that short term volatility is likely to occur after such a strong run in markets.
To kick-off 2020, pension plans witnessed discount rates reversing course and falling further to all-time lows. Volatility returned to equity markets after months of relative calm. International equities were down for the month over concerns of the coronavirus impacting the global economy. Plans heavily interest rate hedged should see a stable funded status but many more plans will see a decline in funded status of a few percentage points. The good news is that markets have already started to rebound thus far in February.
In 2019 plan sponsors witnessed a familiar, albeit more extreme, combination of returns that has also been the theme of the entire previous decade. Equities rallied, long term interest rates fell, and funding levels didn’t increase to levels that plan sponsors expected for a typical pension plan. However, some sponsors utilized equity derivatives to make the investment portfolio work harder while managing risks more efficiently, and consequently saw their plans’ funded ratios materially increase over the same time period.