(Pictured: Craig Mercer)
Towers Watson has confirmed its new hedge funds and alternatives consultant, to join the Sydney office from the UK, as one of five recent hires in Australia. He is Craig Mercer, who has most recently headed up the London office of Dalton Investments LLC.
Prior to the recent role at Dalton Investments, Mercer was a senior manager researcher for seven years in Towers Watson’s Hong Kong office.
Of the five new recruits, two are consultants and three are investment analysts. The other consultant is Sean O’Shea, who also joins the Sydney office. He previously held senior roles at Challenger Financial Services, Apostle Asset Management and Royal Bank of Scotland.
The three investment analysts are: Sean Hollins, who has joined the Melbourne team and was previously a manager in PwC’s investment consulting unit; Bhushan Chiniah, also in Melbourne, who is a graduate investment analyst; and Chris Tran, also from PwC, who has joined the Sydney client consulting team as an investment analyst.
Mercer’s recruitment to head up alternatives advice is fortuitous for Towers Watson. It was foreshadowed at the AIMA conference in September by Hugh Dougherty, the former head of manager research, whose position was made redundant in a restructure just two weeks later. At the time, Towers Watson had the part-time services of alternatives expert Ross Barry, who also since left to join First State Super.
Graeme Miller, the director of investment services for Towers Watson in Australia, said: “Our team is now bigger and better resourced than it’s ever been, and we will continue to increase its depth and breadth as our business grows.”
Dalton Investments is a US-based value-orientated manager which offers a range of hedge funds and more traditional absolute returns strategies.
Towers Watson also announced three recent senior investment professional appointments in the North American investment services team: George Caffrey, Elise Klarfeld Ornstein and Chris Thompson.