Mercer vs. Facet: what’s the difference?

1 min readLast updated May 31, 2024by Unbiased team

Explore a comparison between Mercer and Facet, highlighting their respective strengths, differences, and pros and cons, to decide which better suits you.

Summary 

  • Facet is a relatively new fintech firm that was established in 2016. 

  • Facet currently has over 18,000 members, and it utilizes a hybrid service model. 

  • Mercer boasts an international footprint and is a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan. 

  • Mercer focuses on creating diverse investment strategies to suit each one of its clients.  

Facet vs. Mercer: what’s the difference? 

Facet and Mercer are prominent names in the financial services sector, offering various solutions for individuals and businesses. Facet uses a hybridized service model that covers all aspects of a client's financial journey. Additionally, Facet’s customer service is renowned for its responsiveness and personalized approach, ensuring clients feel valued and supported. 

On the other hand, Mercer’s financial advisors have a long-standing reputation and expertise in the industry. While their fees may vary, Mercer is valued for its comprehensive customer service, catering to the diverse needs of its clientele. With established careers in financial advising, Mercer advisors bring a wealth of experience to the table, providing sound financial advice tailored to individual goals and circumstances. 

What are Mercer and Facet’s specific investment strategies?  

Mercer and Facet employ distinct yet effective investment strategies tailored to their clients' varied goals and needs. 

Given its broad service offerings, Mercer adopts a more diversified investment strategy. It draws on extensive market research and analysis to construct portfolios that mitigate risk and maximize returns over the long term. Its advisors offer comprehensive financial advice, integrating macroeconomic insights and industry expertise to guide clients through various market conditions. 

In contrast, Facet financial advisors center their investment advice around their client's personal circumstances and financial plans. They use a hybridized advisory approach that leverages a robo-advisor to offer customized investment portfolios aligned with individual goals and risk tolerance. However, their experienced fiduciary-certified financial providers (CFPs) work with investors to guide and aid them on their financial journey. 

What fees can I expect from Mercer and Facet?  

Mercer and Facet have distinctive fee structures that investors should consider when choosing a financial partner. Mercer fees vary according to the services utilized, the complexity of the investment strategy, and their negotiations with institutions and corporations.  

Typically, Mercer charges an advisory fee based on assets under management (AUM). Additional costs for specialized services, such as financial or retirement planning, may apply. While trading commissions are generally included, investors should be mindful of potential transaction fees associated with specific trades or products. 

Facet fees differ in that they do not work on commissions. Instead, they charge a scaled annual flat rate according to the complexity of an investor's situation. The flat fees start at $2,000 annually but include financial and investor advisory fees. However, Facet clients may incur miscellaneous fees charged by their custodians

Is Mercer or Facet better? 

Choosing between Mercer and Facet financial services depends on individual preferences and financial goals. While both prioritize client-centric services, Facet's transparent fee structure, comprehensive financial planning, and investment services appeal to those seeking clarity and tailored advice. 

On the other hand, Mercer's strength lies in its diversified investment strategies and extensive market research, appealing to investors who prioritize long-term wealth preservation. Let's look at some of the pros and cons of each firm next: 

Pros of Mercer 

  • Diversified investment strategies. 

  • A wide range of products covering health, wealth, and retirement. 

  • A well-established reputation. 

  • In-person advisor consultations are available. 

Cons of Mercer 

  • Potentially higher fees for the same amount of service. 

  • There is less emphasis on personalized financial planning compared to Facet. 

  • Mercer typically focuses on corporate or institutional clients, not private clients. 

Pros of Facet  

  • Transparent fee structure. 

  • Holistic and personalized financial planning. 

  • Fiduciary CFPs. 

  • Responsive customer service. 

Cons of Facet  

  • Limited investment options when compared to Mercer. 

  • The minimum flat fee makes it inaccessible to those in a lower income bracket. 

  • You don't meet advisors in the flesh.

Mercer or Facet: which should I choose? 

Your choice between Mercer’s advisors and Facet’s services depends on your individual circumstances and preferences. For instance, if you prioritize personalized planning and transparent fees, Facet may be the better option if you can afford their minimum flat fee. 

However, if you value diversified investment strategies backed by extensive research and analytics, Mercer could be more suitable for you. However, as well as enquiring about fees, investment strategy, and various pros and cons, here are some questions to ask yourself when choosing between Mercer and Facet: 

How do Mercer and Facet remain competitive and adapt to changing market conditions? 

Mercer and Facet remain competitive by continually refining their service offerings, integrating advanced technologies, and leveraging analytics to adapt to ever-morphing market dynamics. They prioritize staying abreast of industry trends and regulatory changes to ensure relevance and effectiveness in meeting client needs. 

Which platform provides better customer service and support? 

Facet customer support has a good track record for its responsiveness and personalized assistance, primarily because its service covers so many aspects of financial health. Mercer customer support is also comprehensive but may place less emphasis on personalized service than Facet. 

Can I access my Mercer or Facet accounts through their websites and mobile apps? 

Yes, Mercer and Facet offer websites and mobile apps whereby clients can access and monitor their accounts. These platforms provide convenient access to account information, investment performance, and communication with advisors, enhancing the overall client experience. 

Get expert financial advice  

Mercer and Facet are two leading financial service providers in the US, and each has a different approach to customer service and investment. Facet distinguishes itself with transparent fees and holistic financial planning through a hybridized approach. At the same time, Mercer offers diversified strategies backed by extensive market research. Depending on individual needs, one may be more suitable than the other.  

If you're looking for expert financial advice, look no further than Unbiased to be matched with a professional SEC-regulated financial advisor

Writers

Unbiased team

Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing and retirement, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.