Mercer's Asia-Pac investments chief moves on after realignment of global organization
By Douglas Appell | January 11, 2013 2:25 am
Stephen Roberts, a Sydney-based senior partner with Mercer who led the firm's Asia-Pacific investments business, has left the company following its recent adoption of a new regional alignment for its global operations, spokesmen for Mercer confirmed Friday.
In November, Mercer announced that the structure of its global business would be streamlined to three regions: North America (the U.S. and Canada); EuroPac (Europe, Australia and New Zealand); and growth markets (Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Africa). Previously there were four: U.S.; Europe, Middle East and Africa; Asia Pacific (Asia, Australia, New Zealand) and Latin America/Canada.
In a telephone interview, Graeme Mather, a Sydney-based partner and head of Mercer's Australia and New Zealand investment consulting business, said the restructuring brings together markets facing similar business challenges to allow greater scope for “leveraging off of each other's experiences.”
As an example, he pointed to the decision to combine Australia and New Zealand, where the shift to defined contribution plans from defined benefit plans is already well advanced, with Europe, where that transition remains at an earlier stage.
With the Asia-Pacific region restructuring completed, Mr. Roberts left Mercer at the end of 2012 — one of a number of changes that have been made or have yet to be made with the introduction of the regional structure, said Mr. Mather.
Mr. Roberts couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
Among other changes, Tim Jenkins — a senior partner and 25-year Mercer veteran — has taken on the new roles at the firm of regional business leader for both retirement and investments for the growth markets of Asia, the Middle East, Turkey and Africa.
Mr. Jenkins previously served as leader of Mercer's Asia-Pacific retirement business; no one will replace him in that role.
Guy Thorburn, a Mercer partner who has served as leader of the firm's retirement business in Australia and New Zealand, will continue in that role, even as his title changes to retirement business leader for the Pacific market.
That transition from “Australia and New Zealand” to “Pacific” markets extends to other titles as well, while leaving the roles played by the executives who hold those titles unchanged.
Among them, Simon Eagleton, a senior partner with Mercer who has served as investments business leader for Australia and New Zealand, has taken on the role of investments business leader for the Pacific market as of Jan. 1, Mr. Mather noted.
Mr. Eagleton previously reported to Mr. Roberts, but now will report to Phil de Cristo, president and group executive, investments, and David Anderson, who continues to lead Mercer's broad suite of businesses in the Pacific market in his role as managing director and market leader, Australia/New Zealand, said Mr. Mather.
Meanwhile, Peter Promnitz, a senior partner who served as head of Mercer's broader Asia-Pacific business for the past five years, retired at the end of 2012. However, he has taken on the new role at the company of non-executive director and will remain on Mercer's board as well as continuing as chairman, Australia, for parent company Marsh McLennan & Cos., noted Mr. Mather.
Mr. Mather said a variety of other leadership role changes remain to be considered.