Derivatives
management

Tailored risk management
balanced with maximizing returns

We help institutional investors manage long-term risks to meet their investment objectives.

Derivatives strategies can help to flexibly manage the most prominent risks and liabilities that institutional investors have to contend with, whilst maintaining a focus on maximizing long-term returns. Our approach is built around your specific needs, to ensure creative solutions tailored to your objectives.

Innovative derivatives solutions built around your needs, allowing you to remain focused on achieving your long-term return objectives.

Derivatives strategies_Hedging

Manage risks...

Core to what we do is managing the risks you face using bespoke strategies tailored to your needs

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... without sacrificing returns

Not earning return is also a significant risk. All of our strategies aim to manage risks without compromising on your return objectives.

What we offer

Clients can access our derivatives strategies through two offerings.

Liability-driven investments

Using a tailored approach to each client, we help clients reduce the risks they face in relation to changes in the value of their liabilities. This is particularly pertinent as funds have to make payouts in the future.

Generally, our strategy involves the use of interest rate and inflation swaps, supported by collateral management. Our combination of deep specialist expertise in liability management, with our size, makes us more nimble in responding to changes in the market and more responsive to your needs.

Structured equity

This allows pensions and other funds to shape their exposure to the markets, by targeting the return they need, while offering the necessary protection from falling markets. Our experienced team helps each client create tailored exposure to equity markets, through the use of equity options, as well as bonds and gilts.

Generally, this helps to reduce downside risk exposure by forfeiting a portion of returns for protection when markets fall.

Speak to our team

Tom Cassara

US Consulting Leader

Tom Cassara

US Consulting Leader

Tom Cassara is a Managing Director in River and Mercantile’s New York office and Head of the US business. In his role he consults with institutional clients across the investment and actuarial spectrum. This includes defined benefit, defined contribution, not for profit and retiree medical. Tom works with clients to bring his 30 years of experience across a wide range of institutional organizations to provide custom solutions. Prior to joining River and Mercantile, Tom was a Senior Partner with Mercer leading their US East Wealth business in addition to providing strategic investment and actuarial advice to clients. He has consulted to organizations with less than $100M in assets to greater than $5B in assets. Included in his experience is working with corporate, not for profit, church, healthcare and endowments and foundations. He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, an Enrolled Actuary, a CFA charterholder and has a Series 3 license. Tom has a Bachelor of Science degree from Wake Forest University.

Michael Clark

Managing Director

Michael Clark

Managing Director

Michael Clark is a Managing Director and Consulting Actuary in River and Mercantile's Denver office. In his role he consults on all aspects of financial risk management for defined benefit plans as well as retiree medical plans and defined contribution plans. He also has led numerous clients through pension risk transfers as well as other complex, strategic pension projects. Michael leads River and Mercantile’s business in the West as well as Business Development for the US. Prior to joining River and Mercantile in 2013, Michael worked for Mercer as well as October Three. He currently serves as Immediate Past President for the Conference of Consulting Actuaries as well as providing leadership to several committees. He also participates in the leadership of the Western Pension & Benefits Council – Denver Chapter. Michael is a frequent speaker at industry and professional association conferences on the topics of pension risk management and pension plan administration and has had several articles published in major trade magazines. He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, an Enrolled Actuary, a Fellow of the Conference of Consulting Actuaries, and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries. He has passed Level II of the CFA program. Michael graduated magna cum laude from Brigham Young University with a BS in Statistics.

James Walton

Managing Director

James Walton

Managing Director

James Walton is a Managing Director in River and Mercantile’s Boston office. James leads the firm’s derivatives business in the US and is a member of the US Investment Committee. He is also responsible for providing Independent Expert services related to the due diligence of annuity providers for pension risk transfers. James joined River and Mercantile in 2016 from Legal and General, a UK-based insurance group. He performed a number of investment management roles relating to the retirement business, including responsibility for the investment strategy of that firm’s US Pension Risk Transfer business. James started his career at Aon as an ALM consultant to defined benefit pension plans where he also developed Aon’s LDI, strategic asset allocation processes and analytics. James is a qualified actuary and holds a Masters degree in Physics (Summa Cum Laude) from The University of Oxford.

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