Mercer has received a licence allowing it to offer its range of asset consulting and management services to professional investors in Hong Kong.

The granting of the type 1 (securities dealing) licence by the territory’s Securities & Futures Commission represents another step in the firm’s build-out of its investment capabilities across Asia. It follows Mercer’s receipt of a licence to service South Korean clients beyond professional investors in September.

The firm can now offer what it describes as ‘implemented investment solutions’ in Hong Kong. These include portfolio construction and fund management using its suite of multi-manager investment funds and options. They complement Mercer's investment advisory and other financial services such as actuarial valuations and financial modelling.

Mercer’s range of funds covers the spectrum from equities to real assets such as property and infrastructure, to alternatives, fixed interest and cash. The firm offers global research capabilities, including more than 100 on-the-ground manager researchers, and its manager database covers more than 24,000 strategies.

Mercer’s management of $58 billion-plus in assets advising on $5 trillion-plus globally gives it greater access to investment opportunities and fee-negotiating power than smaller-scale investors, says Deborah Bannon, investment solutions leader for Asia ex-Japan.

Bannon's Hong Kong-based role was expanded earlier this year to cover Asia ex-Japan. She joined the firm in June 2011 as Greater China head of investment management, specifically to expand its IM capabilities in the region. She reports to Stephen Roberts, Mercer’s Sydney-based regional business leader for investments for Asia-Pacific.

Mercer has a long-established investment-management business in Australia and New Zealand, and started building out across Asia early last year by putting sales and client-service presences in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.

Asked about where it might next seek to obtain a licence and about possible future hires and product launches, Mercer declined to comment.