The $12 billion multimanager fund standing behind the WorkCover NSW worker’s compensation scheme has a new asset consultant, with Watson Wyatt’s five year relationship coming to an end.
From the start of the 2009/10 financial year, Mercer Investment Consulting has worked with WorkCover’s investment division, whose general manager is now former van Eyk asset consultant and Credit Suisse Asset Management executive, Jerome Lander.
He refused to discuss the change in investment advisor, which represents the rare loss of a client for Watson Wyatt. The consultant has steadily built its Australian institutional client base, with help from the fact that it refused (along with Frontier Investment Consulting) to develop ‘implemented’ managed fund products.
Some say the consultant has suffered from advice to clients not to rebalance portfolios following the equity market sell-off of 2007/08, at the same time as competitors such as JANA were urging funds to buy more shares while they were cheap.
However, Watson Wyatt’s head of investment consulting, Graeme Miller, said that statement “grossly oversimplified” the advice given to clients, and that clients were satisfied with the way his firm had responded to the global financial crisis.
Mercer Investment Consulting adopts an ‘unbundled’ approach to selling its investment advisory products. For example, its Global Investment Manager Database (GIMD) can be purchased separately from its Dynamic Asset Allocation service.