Greg Liddell has re-emerged as the head of investment consulting for a major advisory firm, with the former QIC implemented boss seen as a make-or-break hire for his new employer’s strength in the Australian asset consulting market.
Liddell will join Russell Investments in September, nine months after departing QIC, and his role running investment consulting will now report directly to local managing director, Chris Corneil. Previous incumbents, such as Andrew Lill, have reported to the head of institutional business.
Liddell will also join Russell’s global consulting leadership team, where he will sit alongside the firm’s most senior pensions and investments consultants, including Janine Baldridge, John Stannard and Don Ezra.
Corneil said that Liddell’s mix of funds management and asset consulting experience, from the last five years implementing multimanager portfolios for QIC and ten prior years at Mercer (where he left as local head of manager research), suited where Russell wanted to position itself in the market.
“Greg’s a guy with the skills to run a theoretical model portfolio, give the strategic advice, but he’s also managed money himself, so he can have the full breadth conversation, right down to the nitty gritty of frictional costs involved in moving money around,” Corneil said.
Corneil acknowledged the high-profile hire came at an important time. Russell has lost major asset consulting clients in the past year – Telstra Super, FuturePlus and AvSuper – and significant implemented consulting clients, including the Holden and IBM corporate super funds, are currently reviewing their arrangements or considering doing so.
Meanwhile, Russell confirmed the recent I&T News story that Andrew Johnson would be joining its New Zealand office to look after institutional clients, reporting to Sydney-based NZ head Mark Blair, after leaving the ‘head of relationship management’ role at AMP Capital Investors.
In what could be a neat swap, Ed Schuck, who ran Russell’s NZ operations for nine years until December, is understood to be on a shortlist of two for a revamped version of Johnson’s AMP CI position, to be called ‘head of distribution’. David Chote from AMP’s Financial Services division is also understood to be in the running.