EUROPE - Robert Marsden has made an internal move from Mercer's multi-manager operation and gone back into the investment research department he left two years ago.

Marsden had been charged over the last 18 months with managing some of the firm's new multi-manager services - previously known as Mercer Global Investments - including an absolute return fund of hedge funds known as the diversified alpha fund launched in October 2007, but has now returned to investment research division where he started with the firm.

He joined Mercer in 1999 to head up the fixed income investment research team, having previously been head of government bond trading at the National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia.

Tom Murphy, European head of investment management at Mercer, confirmed Marsden has returned to the investment research team, though said its multi-manager service is still growing so the firm is hiring another three people to join the multi-manager team within over the next six months.

One of those new recruits will be tasked with expanding the multi-manager remit into the alternatives space to target alternative beta in particular.

"One of the areas we are hiring in is in the alternatives space, not only in the alpha space, but we will also look at alternative beta such as infrastructure, commodities, emerging debt. We are working with two or three pension funds who are looking to invest," said Murphy.

"Investment consulting and investment management businesses work very closely together and the demand for implemented consulting is really growing in the UK and further afield," continued Murphy.

One new recruit was hired by Mercer's investment management team in January and two more are expected to be finalised in the coming weeks.

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