After almost 35 years of intellectual input to New Zealand’s actuarial and investment consulting industry, Mark Weaver, has called it quits.
Weaver, the last remaining founding partner still working in the triple-titled consulting firm Melville Jessup Weaver (MJW), will hand in his final regression analysis at the end next month before embarking on a well-earned retirement.
However, he said MJW was prepared for his exit with replacement, Ben Trollip, set to take up the slack in September.
Trollip returns to MJW – where he worked from 2004-2012 – after a four-year stint at the Sydney office of global consulting firm Willis Towers Watson (WTW). WTW is an affiliate partner of MJW.
“I am humbled to be stepping into the shoes of Mark Weaver, who has been a stalwart member of the New Zealand industry for many years,” Trollip said. “Mark leaves MJW in a strong position and I am sure I will be joined by the rest of the firm in thanking him for his service.”
He said MJW would continue to “provide high quality independent advice” on the local market while also backed by the deep resources of the global WTW research team.
Trollip focused on investment research both in his previous role at MJW and at Willis Towers Watson in Australia.
“I see good opportunities to increase the depth of research that is performed on New Zealand managers and bring some ideas with respect to global best practice to trustees and others at the investment committee level,” he said.
Meanwhile, Weaver is conducting a farewell tour of the provinces with a number of official client functions to fit in before his departure.
Originally from the UK, Weaver launched his NZ career in 1982 with the-then actuarial firm Wyatt Company (later to morph into Watson Wyatt and ultimately WTW). He also served a year helping run the National Provident Fund followed by a three-year stint at another consulting firm, Jacques Martin Hewitt.
At Jacques Martin Weaver assisted a number of defined benefit super schemes to adjust to the new tax regime introduced by then Labour finance minister, Roger Douglas.
In 1992 Weaver, along with John Melville and Richard Jessup, launched their eponymous business with a focus on both New Zealand’s insurance and investment industries.
While MJW introduced a new level of rigour to investment reporting in NZ – particularly in the wholesale market but latterly also in the KiwiSaver space – Weaver said his career also featured several highlights in the insurance space.
For example, he worked on valuing and selling to the government three of the five private accident insurers that were subsequently folded into the newly-minted Accident Compensation Commission.
Weaver also authored a controversial report for the Financial Services Council (FSC) last year that identified major flaws in NZ’s life insurance remuneration structures.
“Funnily enough I wrote an article in the 1980s on the same subject that was just as controversial then,” he said. “I recall the story sparked more comments for the publication at the time than any other previous one.”
Come October 1 Weaver is off on a cycling tour of Slovenia.