The head of Australian equities manager research at Mercer has left the firm to become the first chief investment officer of a major industry super fund.

Bill Dwyer began work as CIO of the $3 billion Non-Government Schools Superannuation Fund (NGS Super) last week. Tim Hughes, the CIO of Catholic Super, has been employed as a senior investment adviser to the fund in recent years and will continue in this role. While Dwyer’s experience at Mercer and, before this, Deloitte, have not seen him directly manage institutional portfolios containing listed and illiquid assets, his tenure at Mercer encompassed all asset classes through fund-of-fund research and coordinating a global alternatives rating committee. The move to NGS Super matched Dwyer’s “long-standing ambition to manage an institutional fund rather than join the manufacturing side,” he said. The fund has also appointed Ben Squires as investment officer to support Dwyer, replacing Joanne Townsend. Dwyer and senior researcher at Mercer, Richard Cahill, were the only full-time researchers covering Australian equities managers at the firm. Marianne Feeley, the head of manager research for the Asia-Pacific, said Cahill would be assisted by other researchers within the business as a global search to find a replacement for Dwyer continued. Dwyer said that while at Mercer, he was involved with institutional clients AMP Future Directions, Colonial FirstChoice, Government Employees Superannuation Board (Western Australia) and Mercer Investment Management.

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