High-profile custody adviser, Drew Vaughan, left Mercer Investment Consulting on April 7 after eight years with the firm, and is understood to be starting his own business.

Mercer’s custody and transition management advice unit is now being run by Lounarda David, who started with the consultant at the same time as Vaughan. She is backed by senior associate Marianne Azer, formerly of BNP Paribas, as well as Cathy Barnett and Tony Pimanda. Senior custody consultant Tom Clapham moved to Mercer’s Singapore office late last year. Vaughan, who took four month’s leave from Mercer in mid-2004, said it was too early to talk about his future plans, but added he could say more in a couple of weeks. Industry sources have suggested that his own investment administration consulting business will be the first step. Vaughan’s last action at Mercer was to run the custody tender for the merging STA and ARF funds, which saw ARF incumbent JPMorgan edge out STA incumbent, Nab.

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