Mercer has named Jennifer Kruse as head of its U.S. Outsourced CIO business.
The Marsh McLennan-owned firm said Kruse will oversee its OCIO business and team in the U.S. and will be responsible for “implementing strategic initiatives, driving business development, and managing and expanding client relationships.”
Kruse, who joined Mercer in early 2021, was most recently head of clients for U.S. investment solutions and will now become part of the company’s U.S. wealth leadership team. Kruse will remain based in New York and will report to Marc Cordover, a senior partner and leader of Mercer’s U.S. retirement and investment division.
“Jen will continue our momentum in building a resilient and dynamic investment solutions business through implementing differentiated product offerings, collaborating with leaders and colleagues across the business,” Cordover said in a release. “Jen’s journey from being an investment consultant, to running client services for our OCIO business, to now leading our OCIO business puts us, and more importantly, our clients in a great position.”
Kruse worked at Willis Towers Watson for more than 15 years, first as a services delivery manager and then as an investment consultant director. She earned bachelor’s degrees in economics and philosophy at the College of Charleston in South Carolina.
“I am thrilled to be stepping into this role during an exciting time for our business,” Kruse said in the release. “The OCIO team has strong talent with a track record of delivering value for our broad client base, particularly during the volatile markets of the last few years.”
Kruse succeeds Samantha Davidson, who had been head of Mercer’s OCIO business since 2020. According to Davidson’s LinkedIn profile, she became a senior partner and U.S. investments leader for Mercer in February. A spokesperson for Mercer told CIO that as a matter of corporate policy and respect for colleagues, the firm does not comment on departures.
According to a survey released earlier this year by research and consulting firm Cerulli Associates, approximately 25% of asset owners polled expect to use an outsourced CIO in some capacity over the next two years.
The report, which surveyed 172 institutional asset owners, found that 14% said they expect to begin using an OCIO relationship and 11% expect to expand the use of OCIO by moving from a partial portfolio to a total portfolio mandate or by adding other asset pools that are currently managed in-house. Only 6% said they expect to reduce or stop using OCIO services.