As its clients become more focused on keeping plan participants out of poverty in retirement, Mercer Investments is reorganizing.
Because a growing number of institutional clients are asking Mercer to model individual retirement outcomes and look at how to reduce the number of people falling into poverty in retirement, the consultant is combining its investment and retirement consulting practices into a new wealth business.
Modeling individual outcomes has become important to Mercer's plan sponsor work. It's no longer a matter of figuring out the plans' median outcomes.
Mercer officials started streamlining operations after the Oct. 20 announcement that Phil de Cristo, the company's president of investments, would leave effective March 31.
After Mr. de Cristo leaves, Mercer, which has more than $9 trillion in assets under advisement and $157 billion under management, will formally combine its investment and retirement consulting practices.
The company in January made some leadership changes to start that process.
The changes include:
- Jacques Goulet, previously glo-bal president for Mercer's retirement and health businesses, is leading the wealth and health businesses globally for Mercer;
- Tom Murphy, head of Mercer's defined contribution and financial wellness unit in the U.S., is the wealth business leader for the U.S.;
- Andrew Kirton, chief investment officer for EuroPac, has become global chief investment officer for Mercer Investments; and
- Rich Nuzum, formerly North American business leader at Mercer Investments, is now leading the wealth business across growth markets (Asia, Latin America and South America).
“Our goal is to better serve the client that is managing two different numbers: the value of the assets and the value of the liabilities. This makes it simpler for us to serve the clients and for the clients to engage with us,” said Mr. Goulet in a phone interview.
Mercer defines “wealth” very broadly, capturing all of its activities in the retirement, investment and financial wellness areas. Its health business, meanwhile, provides services from advice through to implementation around health and non-retirement-related employee benefits.
Mr. Goulet went on to explain: “The wealth division aligns better with our clients' needs. We hope to help clients across a broad set of capabilities and solutions that goes from speaking to an expert on investing in alternatives to speaking to somebody that will devise a strategy that has them unload a (closed) pension plan to an insurance company.”