Mercer has made redundant its head of financial advice after a restructure in the outsourcing business, where the addition of three major super fund clients has led to around 270,000 new members under administration.
Scott Walters, Mercer’s financial advice leader, was made redundant late August after the member services and financial advice teams were combined.
Mercer has also merged its sales and marketing functions under one leader, Heather Dawson, who was previously responsible for sales Australia and New Zealand.
David Anderson, outsourcing business leader, Asia Pacific at Mercer said the role of financial advice leader, held by Walters and member services leader, held by Anthony Schiavo, were made redundant and would be replaced with one executive responsible for the “end-to-end servicing and lifetime retention of every member”.
Mercer intends to conduct an internal and external search for the executive, who will head up the new member services and advice unit.
Schiavo, who was also responsible for marketing, remains with the company and Anderson said Mercer was discussing potential future roles for him under the new structure.
“Unfortunately we determined that there weren’t any other roles for Scott at this time,” Anderson said.
Anderson said the changes were part of a reorganisation effective September 1 in response to the “transformation and rapid growth of the business”, which has recently seen the addition of the $2 billion ANZ Australian Staff Superannuation Scheme, the $2.6 billion NGS Super and Tasmania’s $3.4 billion Retirement Benefits Fund (RBF).
NGS super has 82,000 members, ANZ’s staff scheme has 30,000 members and RBF covers 85,000 members.
“We’ve just won a number of large accounts, we’re implementing about 270,000 new members under administration, and concurrent with that we’ve done our three year financial plan for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012 which is part of the Mercer Group and the wider MMC Group,” he said.
“We’ve then reflected on what capabilities we need in future and what problems or challenges we have that we need to address. It’s those things coming together which caused us to have a reorganisation that only affected two areas in our business.”
A Mercer financial adviser, Josephine Smith, based in the Paramatta office, was also made redundant as a result of the reorganisation.
Walters said he was in the process of deciding what to do next, and planned to see what was available in the market.
“I’m going to have a think about life and decide what’s best,” he said.