New global CIO role focused on 'mainstream assets'

New global CIO role focused on 'mainstream assets'

Mercer creates new global CIO role focused on 'mainstream assets'

  • 27 July 2011
  • Australia, Melbourne

Mercer has created a new Global Chief Investment Officer (CIO) role in response to the rapid evolution of its investment management business, which now manages more than $US44 billion globally. Russell Clarke, Mercer’s current Asia Pacific CIO, will take the new role of ‘Global CIO, Mainstream Assets’.

As CIO, Mainstream Assets, Mr Clarke is now responsible for worldwide investment management decisions concerning all traditional asset classes including equities, property, fixed interest and multi-asset portfolios.

Regional CIOs across the globe now report to Mr Clarke, including Andrew Howard who has been appointed his successor in Asia Pacific. Mr Howard’s appointment is also an internal promotion from his role for the past seven years as Mercer Australia's Senior Portfolio Manager. Phil Graham, Mercer Australia’s Senior Portfolio Strategist since 2007, becomes Deputy CIO, Asia Pacific. Staff hires are planned over the coming months to fill the vacancies resulting from these promotions.

Mr Stephen Roberts, Mercer’s Investment Management Business Leader for Asia Pacific said Mercer’s Australian and New Zealand investment management clients would benefit from Mr Clarke’s move to the new global role as it would enable even stronger advocacy of local issues at the highest levels within Mercer internationally.

“We’re delighted to fill these roles with such high-calibre internal candidates. These appointments are testament to the career prospects for talented individuals in our organisation,” he added.

Commenting on the new appointments, Mr Clarke said, “I’m transitioning to a most capable successor in Andrew Howard, who has worked closely with me over the past seven years and has a deep insight into and appreciation of the needs and challenges of local investment management clients.”

“I will transfer my responsibilities to Mr Howard in a phased process to ensure continuity and a smooth transition. Andrew will continue to report to me, so I’ll retain oversight of the local portfolios going forward,” said Mr Clarke.

Mr Clarke will now report to Mercer’s London-based Global CIO, Andrew Kirton.

Mr Kirton said the new role is a response to Mercer’s rapid evolution within the investment management space.

“Our business is growing rapidly - both in terms of assets under management and the range of investment strategies we’re bringing to market in response to client needs.

“As we evolve our portfolio management activities to an increasingly global footing and integrate it more closely with the underlying strategic and manager research that underpins it, the need for a pivotal leadership role in managing the challenges of the growing scale and complexity has become apparent.

“The new role is a logical extension of Mercer’s reorganisation earlier this year of alternatives research and portfolio management activities along global lines,” said Mr Kirton.

“That reorganisation saw the formation of an Alternatives Investment Committee, chaired by our CIO, Alternative Assets, Bill Muysken, and an expansion of Bill's role to take in both beta and alpha strategies.  Some of the changes introduced in respect of alternatives will also be applicable to mainstream assets and part of Russell Clarke's role will be to work closely with Bill exploring the scope of potential crossovers,” he said.


Global Chief Investment Officer, Mainstream Assets
Russell Clarke
B.Ec, SA Fin, FIAA

Russell has been responsible for developing and maintaining the investment structure of the Mercer investment vehicles in the Asia Pacific region since rejoining the firm in 2003. Russell has over 20 years’ investment and financial services experience. In addition to his CIO duties, Russell has previously served Mercer as an investment consultant and Head of Investment Research in Australia. He has also managed the investment research function at one of Australia's largest superannuation funds and the investment performance analytics team of a major fund manager.

Russell holds a Bachelor of Economics degree from Macquarie University. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia and an Affiliate of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia, and has lectured and tutored in investment subjects for both organisations.


Chief Investment Officer, Asia Pacific
Andrew Howard
B.Bus, Grad Dip AFI, F FIN

Andrew has worked closely with Russell Clarke in developing and maintaining the investment structure of Mercer’s multi-manager portfolios in Asia Pacific. Andrew joined Mercer in 2004 and has over 16 years’ experience in research, investment consulting and financial planning, including roles as head of manager research, portfolio manager and research analyst.

Andrew holds a Bachelor of Business from Deakin University and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment from the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA). He is a Fellow of FINSIA.


Deputy Chief Investment Officer, Asia Pacific
Phil Graham
BA (Hons – Econ), MCom (Hons – Fin), CFA, F FIN

Phil has been responsible for contributing to the ongoing development and management of the Mercer investment vehicles in the Asia Pacific region and working with Mercer’s institutional clients. Phil joined Mercer in May 2007. He has over 30 years’ experience in investment and financial services, most recently as head of manager selection with Access Capital Advisers (formerly Access Economics) and as Portfolio Strategist with Queensland Investment Corporation. Trained as an economist, Phil spent 7 years in this capacity with the Reserve Bank of Australia, followed by 11 years in senior economic roles with the ANZ Banking Group.

Phil holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (Economics) from Macquarie University, Masters of Commerce with Honours (Finance) from the University of Melbourne and is a CFA charter holder. He currently acts as President of the CFA Society of Melbourne and is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia, and has lectured for both organisations.

About Mercer

Mercer is a global leader in talent, health, retirement and investments. Mercer helps clients around the world advance the health, wealth and performance of their most vital asset – their people. Mercer’s 20,000 employees are based in 43 countries and the firm operates in over 140 countries. Mercer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), a global team of professional services companies offering clients advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy and human capital. With 55,000 employees worldwide and annual revenue exceeding $12 billion, Marsh & McLennan Companies is also the parent company of Marsh, a global leader in insurance broking and risk management; Guy Carpenter, a global leader in providing risk and reinsurance intermediary services; and Oliver Wyman, a global leader in management consulting. Follow Mercer on Twitter @MercerAU @MercerInsights