Zurich and Mercer partner to launch workplace savings scheme in Middle East

31 May 2018 Consultancy-me.com 3 min. read

Insurance and investment firm Zurich has launched a workplace savings solution (MySavings) in the Middle East in partnership with world’s largest investment consultancy Mercer. With more workers now demanding employer-facilitated saving, the partners will look to fill the current regional absence of this service.

Saving for the future can be a difficult task for many people, and wading into the mire of infinite investment services is a daunting proposition. Choosing between mutual fund offerings from banks or other financial institutions, investing in index funds, or managing your own portfolio – the options are endless, and in a world of increasing complexity and choice paralysis, it would be nice for things to be simpler.

A recent YouGov survey found that 78% of people think their employer should be doing more to help them prepare for their financial future. Flowing from that, employees are increasingly interested in their employers providing a cost-effective long-term savings plan as part of their total compensation package.

In the Middle East, there is currently a lack of employer-facilitated saving programs – clearly a service that many workers now desire. To fill this gap, insurance and investment firm Zurich has launched a workplace savings platform with HR and investment consulting firm Mercer. The platform, named ‘MySavings,’ will offer employees a range of investment solutions managed by Mercer – the largest investment consultancy in the world – with administration and record-keeping provided by Zurich. The scale and buying power of Mercer, which currently manages $227 billion in assets, ensures competitive pricing while streamlining the investment selection process.Zurich and Mercer partner to launch workplace savings solution in Middle EastThe MySavings solution will be highly customisable to varying needs and preferences of different employees. “Long-term savings decisions can be complex and there is no one-size-fits-all solution,” said Mustafa Faizani, CEO of Mercer Middle East, India, Africa and Turkey. “For this reason, MySavings offers flexible and tailored investment options by segmenting employees based on their preferences.”

“Some employees prefer to have decisions made for them, some simply want assistance in allocating investments and others prefer to make investment choices on their own. MySavings’ investment solutions have been designed by Mercer based on our extensive manager research and asset allocation expertise to cater for diverse preferences.”

The institution of workplace savings-plans does more than just benefit the current employees of a company – it can also be a strong tool for talent attraction and retention. “In most developed economies, the facility to save through the workplace would be an accepted part of any employment package,” remarked Peter Cox, Head of International Pension Plans Sales for Zurich. “However, across the Middle East, this important benefit is missing.”

“For this reason, workers across the region have a real need for attractive workplace savings solutions, which could include the End of Service entitlement. Those employers who facilitate workplace savings will find that they become an employer of choice with significantly improved recruitment and retention results.”

Mercer has 22,000 employees based out of 44 countries. The consultancy has been in the Middle East for over ten years, with offices in both Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Zurich has more than 84,000 employees worldwide, and has been active in the Middle East for almost 30 years. It has offices in Bahrain, Qatar, Lebanon and the UAE.