David Bryant formally entered the Mercer stable last week as chief executive for Australia and Pacific zone leader in a move announced this March. He has a mandate to “advance the firm’s leadership position across Australia and New Zealand”, according to a Mercer release last week. He reports to David Anderson, Mercer international region president.
Anderson says: “[Bryant] is the right person to lead Mercer in the Pacific through our next phase of growth and transformation. The Pacific plays an important role in our global portfolio and [Bryant] will play an instrumental role in building brighter futures for our colleagues, our clients and our firm.” Martin Lewington, the Mercer chief executive of New Zealand, reports to Bryant.
Previously, Bryant held the dual roles of chief executive of wealth and CIO for Australian Unity, where he had worked since 2004. The new Pacific zone head replaces Ben Walsh, now chief life insurance officer with AIA Australia. Jo-Anne Bloch, Mercer administration clients segment leader, served as interim Pacific zone leader in the wake of Walsh’s exit in March.
It is thought that the chief executive and CIO roles are likely to be separated again following Bryant’s departure.
Meanwhile, Warren Potter, a veteran AMP Capital bond manager, has resigned after 14 years with the firm. He was based in Wellington, New Zealand, and will now join the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) fund, NZ’s largest fiduciary investor.
In a note to clients, Vicky Hyde-Smith, AMP Capital head of fixed income in NZ, said Potter was hired by the NZ$45 billion (A$42.2 billion) ACC fund as global futures portfolio manager, which was a newly created role. Last month the ACC also hired Nick Dravitz from Devon Funds in a portfolio management position.
“I am grateful to Warren for his professionalism, dedication and commitment to clients and the fixed income business over the last 14 years,” Hyde-Smith said in a client note. Following Potter’s departure, she said current AMP Capital NZ fixed income portfolio managers – Tim Mowbray and Carrick Lucas – would assume further duties, providing the pair with opportunities to “develop their skills and take on more responsibility”.
Hyde-Smith, who has been with AMP Capital since 2001, replaced Grant Hassell as head of NZ fixed income in 2018. Hassell is now AMP Capital head of global fixed income, dividing his time between Sydney and Wellington.
– David Chaplin, Investment News NZ