Russell Mason, a principal in the Mercer Human Resources Consulting Sydney office, has been appointed a worldwide partner of the firm.

The worldwide partners, who number about 250, with a dozen from Australia, meet each year to discuss Mercer’s business strategies around the globe and general direction. They include senior management from the various parts of Mercer’s businesses. The next meeting is in March in the US. Other Australian worldwide partners include Peter Promnitz, the chief executive, Martin Stevenson, an actuary, and Tony Cole, the head of Mercer Investment Consulting. Mason said the term “worldwide partnership” harked back to the days when the firm was owned by the principals. However, it is today owned by insurance giant Marsh McClennan. He said that his contribution to the worldwide partnership would centre on his experience with multi-employer, mainly defined contribution, funds. “Defined contribution funds are becoming more and more important in the US and UK and obviously we have a lot of experience with them in Australia.” Mason recently returned from a massive conference in Hawaii, for the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, which had about 6,300 trustee and funds management attendees. “And the numbers were down this year because of the distance most of them had to travel,” Mason said. “I came away from the conference with the impression that our knowledge in Australia is at least equal to the best in America.”

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