NEW YORK - William M. Mercer Inc. closed its U.S. investment manager consulting service and will shift the research and Tracker database management to its investment consulting division.
The closing of Mercer Manager Advisory Services, formerly Eager & Associates, was the result of a drop in demand brought on by the slumping stock market. About a dozen professionals will be moved to other positions in its investment consulting operation; six others, most of them analysts and consultants, will lose their jobs, said Barry McInerney, national practice leader of Mercer Investment Consulting.
Mr. McInerney said the research and database services, including the widely known Tracker, will continue to be available through the investment consulting operation. The transition for Tracker and Mercer's Manager Performance Analytics products will be "seamless" for institutional subscribers, he said. Other institutional investment research programs provided by MMAS will be shifted to Mercer's Global Investment Forum.
Mercer Manager Advisory Services, Louisville, Ky., was formed in 1998 by the purchase of asset management consulting firm Eager & Associates. Mr. McInerney said the decision to close the U.S. services of MMAS was a strategic "business decision," which will allow Mercer to focus on its core investment consulting for institutional clients. MMAS consulting will continue as before in Asia, Australia, Europe and the United Kingdom.
Demand for asset manager consulting services provided by MMAS remains strong outside of the United States, he said.
New positions in New York
Mercer is beefing up its New York investment consulting office, he said, with the appointment of three senior-level consulting professionals, including the first-ever New York practice leader.
Robert E. Burke, former U.S. practice leader at Mercer Manager Advisory Services, was named practice leader in New York. James Johnston, an investment consultant at MMAS, was named senior consultant along with Edward Heilbron, who will transfer from the retirement practice of Mercer's Human Resource Consulting.
The additions in Mercer's New York investment consulting office bring the number of investment professionals there to 15.