GLOBAL - Mercer is to change the structure of its investment organisation, introducing several region-wide heads of fiduciary management, as the consultancy said there was growing interest from clients in safeguarding the “integrity” of fiduciary oversight.

Mercer said the changes would integrate global investment consulting and investment management, with Phil de Cristo, president and group executive of investments, noting that the company was “determined” to be ready for future developments.

“Many of our clients are asking Mercer to move beyond investment consulting and to assume a greater role in helping them manage their investment programmes,” he said.

Michael Dempsey will progress from being head of investment management EMEA to assuming responsibility for fiduciary management within the region.

In his newly created role, he will report to former head of investment consulting EMEA Tom Geraghty, now named head of investments for the same region.

Similar appointments have been made in the US and Canada, with Tom Murphy assuming responsibility for the former, while Yvan Breton will oversee both the Canadian and Latin American markets.

Andrew Kirton will continue as the company’s global chief investment officer, reporting to De Cristo, with three other heads of investments appointed in addition to Geraghty for the US, Asia Pacific and the region of Canada and Latin America.

Discussing the motivation for the structural changes, de Cristo said, in an outsourced governance environment, the consultancy functioned as an “extension” of company staff. 

“Some clients may not want to staff internally to oversee their alternative investments or other complex investment vehicles, or to monitor fast-moving markets,” he said.

The move follows Towers Watson’s decision to separate its fiduciary management operational team from its own consultants, with the company saying it guaranteed members of the delegated team would be able to focus solely on their clients and not be distracted by other work.