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).
2019 turned out to be a fruitful year for equities with the S&P500 achieving record highs and delivering more than a 28% return for the year. However, 2019 returns were boosted by a low starting point at the beginning of the year following the 2018 “Christmas Crunch”.
With discount rates up slightly and equities posting another strong month, December was a pleasant end to a turbulent 2019 for pension sponsors. Most plans will have seen modest improvements in funded status in December, with both discount rates and equity investments providing light tailwinds. But the full year tells a different story; while the financial headlines were all about the strong stock market in 2019, the decline in discount rates was just as significant; many plan sponsors will find they barely made up any ground in 2019, despite strong equity returns.
We believe we are in the Stable phase of the market; we saw reduced equity volatility in November compared to the past few months, but the lower liquidity around the Christmas period could lead to a return of some volatility.