Mercer has hired Australian Unity head of wealth, David Bryant, to replace Ben Walsh as Pacific Zone leader.
Walsh left Mercer mid-March for a new job as chief life insurance officer at AIA Australia.
According to a statement, Bryant, who was also chief investment officer for the wider Australian Unity group, would work with the Pacific leadership team to leverage the “global capabilities of Mercer to advance the firm’s position across Australia and New Zealand”.
David Anderson, Mercer international president, said in the release: “Given his 28 years of experience across the financial services industry, David Bryant is the right person to lead Mercer forward in the Pacific.”
Jo-Anne Bloch, Mercer administration clients segment leader, assumes the interim Mercer Pacific and Australia chief roles on April 30 until Bryant finalises a start date.
Mercer NZ chief, Martin Lewington, will report through to Bryant.
Meanwhile, Walsh heads to AIA following an almost 30-year career with Marsh & McLennan (Mercer parent company).
Damien Mu, AIA Australia and NZ chief, said Walsh would begin working at the life insurer this June.
“In heading up the Life pillar of the business, Ben will pay a key role in helping us realise our vision of making Australia and New Zealand the healthiest and best protected nations in the world,” Mu said in a release.
In other big regional appointments last week, BlackRock named Rimmo Jolly as head of its Asia Pacific (APAC) iShares exchange-traded fund (ETF) business.
The Hong Kong-based Jolly joins iShares from Citi, where he was APAC managing director and head of ETF.
Susan Chan, head of iShares, said in a release: “Rimmo is a highly-respected finance industry veteran and brings a wealth of experience to our ETF business development and distribution.
“The recent extreme risk-off market environment has showcased the underlying strength of ETFs.”
BlackRock iShares is the largest ETF provider in the world with more than US$1 trillion under management. The iShares products are also a staple in many NZ broker and institutional portfolios. Last year, the NZX launched a new range of eight ETFs that feed into iShares products.
Pioneer Australian boutique manager, Maple-Brown Abbott (MBA), has appointed Duncan Hodnett to the newly-created head of global distribution role.
Hodnett comes to MBA from ASX-listed multi-affiliate firm, Pinnacle Investment Management, where he served as director institutional sales for the last 19 months.
Sophie Rahmani, MBA chief, said Hodnett would be responsible for the firm’s business development in Australia and offshore.
“Part of his role will be to further diversify our client base across markets both locally and globally,” Rahmani said. “We already have clients in 24 countries and Duncan’s international experience, strong existing client relationships, and proven track record in leading a distribution strategy and raising funds, while also providing exceptional client service, will be invaluable.”
MBA, which last year landed a major listed infrastructure institutional mandate with ANZ Investments (NZ), is represented in NZ by Heathcote Investment Partners.
Pinnacle also has a distribution presence in NZ, headed by David Batty.