GLOBAL - Marsh & McLennan, the parent company of Mercer and Putnam Investments, has named James Speros as chief marketing officer.

He joins from Ernst & Young on April 24 and will take over from Barbara Perlmutter, who plans to retire after 27 years with the company, MMC said.

“In this role, Mr. Speros will be responsible for MMC's global marketing and communications strategies supporting MMC's business objectives and enhancing the company's reputation,” the company said in a release. He was formerly chief marketing officer at E&Y in the US.

Issues that blew up on Perlmutter’s watch included the Putnam market timing scandal and the Marsh insurance bid-rigging episode which cost then chief executive Jeffrey Greenberg his job.

Speros’ responsibilities will range from branding and advertising, media relations, market research, internal communications and corporate philanthropy. He’ll report to president and CEO Michael Cherkasky.

Cherkasky said: "Barbara Perlmutter has served MMC with distinction and professionalism. We are grateful for her wise counsel and many years of dedication and service, and we wish her the very best as she begins a new chapter in her life.

“As we implement our 'one company' strategy of becoming the world's leading global advice and solutions firm, Jim will collaborate closely with the business and marketing leadership of our operating companies in carrying out our corporate marketing strategy."

In February, MMC reported that Mercer Human Resource Consulting had revenues last year of $2.7bn (€2.3bn) - flat with the 2004 figure.

MMC’s total consulting revenues were up 4% in the year at $3.8bn – driven by a 17% increase in specialty consulting. Consulting operating income rose to $451m from $409m a year before.

Mercer's total revenues increased 6% in the fourth quarter to $966m, with Mercer HRC revenue up 2%.