UPDATED | Mercer has named responsible investment specialist Kylie Willment as its new chief investment officer for the Pacific region.

Sydney-based Willment will commence in the role on October 25, 2017.

“Mercer is continuing to grow rapidly – both in terms of assets under management and the range of investment clients it serves – and I am looking forward to being part of Mercer’s future success,” Willment said.

She joins Mercer from NSW Treasury Corporation (TCorp), where she is a 17-year veteran of the state government’s $90 billion institutional investment team.

The move comes 10 months after Willment moved into a newly created position as TCorp’s senior manager investment advisory and stewardship.

Willment joined TCorp in 2000 as a portfolio analyst and two years later was promoted to senior investment specialist – a role she held for 10 years.

In 2013, she was promoted to senior manager investment management. In 2015, she was named senior manager of TCorp’s Hour-Glass funds.

Over her 17-year career at TCorp Willment has covered all major asset classes with stints in cash, currency, fixed income, listed equities, unlisted property and infrastructure. In recent years she has been responsible for multi-asset portfolios worth roughly $30 billion that TCorp manages on behalf of various NSW government stakeholders such as local councils.

Willment has a Masters of Applied Finance from Macquarie University. She has been a director on the local arm of the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA) since 2014.

Mercer informed staff and clients of Willment’s appointment throughout the afternoon on Wednesday September 6, 2017, ahead of issuing a media statement early on Thursday September 7.

Acting CIO to remain as deputy

The global consulting and asset management firm’s leader of institutional wealth in the Pacific, Simon Eagleton, said the new recruit possessed “an impressive set of skills and experience in all aspects” of institutional investing.

“She has a passion for aligning investment strategy with investor needs…Kylie was very much a key contributor to TCorp’s excellent investment performance track record,” he said.

Eagleton noted that as part of a global firm Willment was joining a team of over 1,000 investment professionals across 43 countries.

Willment has been recruited to replace Russell Clarke, who departed Mercer in May to step into the chief investment officer (CIO) role at Victorian Funds Management Corporation (VFMC).

Mercer regional deputy CIO Philip Graham has been acting CIO in the interim. In a note to clients Eagleton commended Graham for doing “a great job” and noted he had been well-supported by Nick White, Dave Stuart, and Philio Houghton-Brown from the portfolio management team.

Graham will return to the deputy CIO role, reporting to Willment.

Global team

In addition to being Mercer’s CIO in the Pacific region, Clarke also held the title of global CIO for mainstream assets. That combined role gave him responsibility for $185 billion in assets across more than 200 funds.

In taking on the regional portion of Clarke’s former role Willment will be responsible for more than $30 billion of the roughly $200 billion Mercer manages globally. She will also work closely with Mercer’s global wealth team to consult to clients.

The position of global CIO for mainstream assets has now been absorbed by Dublin-based Hooman Kaveh, who was recently promoted to the position of global CIO for Mercer’s delegated solutions business. Previously Kaveh held the title Mercer European CIO.

Willment will report jointly to Kaveh and Eagleton, who in turn report to Mercer’s London-based global CIO Andrew Kirton.

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