The $2.5 billion Electricity Supply Industry Superannuation Fund (ESI Super) has terminated its long asset consulting relationship with Mercer Investment Consulting, in preference for a consultant that ESI chair Bob Henricks called “more proactive”.

After more than ten years advising the Brisbane-based industry fund, Mercer was replaced by JANA Investment Advisers last month following an internal decision-making process. 

“JANA are the advisor to a couple of other funds I chair [SPEC(Q) and AUST(Q)] and, to put it bluntly, I find them more proactive…they’re prepared to make calls,” Henricks said.

“Mercer have a house view on things, which I find rather inflexible. Some mightn’t, but I do…Our performance has been satisfactory, we’re not dirty on Mercer for that, but we just think JANA’s style of advice is more appropriate for our fund into the future.”

JANA will commence a full review of ESI’s investments, under the supervision of contracted lead consultant, John Coombe.

Meanwhile, ESI Super has appointed National Custodian Services as its first ever master custodian, as it seeks to move more of its assets away from implementation by the Queensland Investment Corporation. 

This gradual move off QIC’s platform is understood to mean ESI’s relationship with JANA will be higher-touch than it needed to be with Mercer.

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