Mercer Investments Loses President, Begins Revamp

The consultant will merge its investment and retirement practices and centralize its investment management capabilities.

A global restructuring of Mercer’s investment consulting business will bundle the firm’s investment and retirement capabilities as its investment president exits.

Phil de Cristo is to step down from his role after more than 10 years at the consulting firm, Mercer confirmed this week.

“My decision to leave created an opportunity to look at Mercer’s overall structure and create better alignment for our clients,” de Cristo said in an interview with CIO.

The changes, which will officially take place on January 1, include merging Mercer’s investment and retirement consulting practices into a newly-created wealth group, as well as creating a new investment research and management division.

Andrew Kirton, formerly head of Mercer’s EuroPac investment division, will take over the latter effort as global CIO.

“We’ve concentrated our investment capabilities—our portfolio management, our investment research, and our alternatives capability—into a centralized organization under Andrew Kirton,” de Cristo said. “That will allow us to continue to be relevant to our core constituency who are looking for us to provide leading edge investment capabilities.”

The combination of Mercer’s investment and retirement consulting services, meanwhile, will merge its actuaries, plan design experts, investment consultants, and outsourced-CIO (OCIO) practitioners. In this US, this group will be led by Tom Murphy, currently head of OCIO.

“What we hope to do is be able to engage with clients in a more holistic way,” de Cristo said. “We want to bring clients a one-stop shop of capabilities.”

Related: The Consulting Fund Manager: Mercer AUM Hits $115B & Knowledge Brokers 2013: Andrew Kirton