As part of Mercer’s expansion in the UK, which has seen it hire sixteen people in recent months, the firm has poached two KPMG pensions experts, Stephen Budge and Tejas Patel. Budge joins as a Principal in the firm’s London team, while Patel re-joins the firm as a Principal in the Midlands’ DC & Savings practice.
Prior to joining Mercer, Stephen Budge was a Principal & Head of DC Investment at KPMG Pensions in the UK. His job, as leader of the Investment Advisory team, was to perform research as well as lead on key client relationships and opportunities. Before KPMG UK in 2011, Budge spent more than ten years involved with Aon Hewitt (and its legal predecessors Bacon & Woodrow and Hewitt Associates). Budge worked as a DC Consultant (Pensions & Investments) for the firm, providing services to, among others, a global DC pension plan reporting client and Hewitt’s two own DC plan trustees.
Tejas Patel also joins from KPMG, where he fulfilled the role of Investment Consultant for six years from 2009. In this role, he provided investment advice to a range of DB and DC pension schemes. His experience at the firm covers all areas of investment consulting/advisory, including investment strategy, manager and fund selection, transitions and investment monitoring. Before joining KPMG, Patel also worked for Mercer, as an Investment Analyst, for over seven years. Patel is a member of the CFA Institute.
Budge and Patel both join Mercer as Principals of UK DC and Financial Wellness. Budge will strengthen the London team, and Patel the Birmingham office, from where he will lead the DC Investments in the Midlands.
According to Brian Henderson, UK Head of Mercer’s DC & Savings Team, “The expansion has been driven, in part by client demand following the Freedom and Choice in Pensions Reforms that took full effect on 6 April 2015.” He goes on to explain that “the reforms mean that members now have three options on how to take their benefits at retirement. Mercer is at the forefront of educating clients, helping them inform and educate their members, as well as putting solutions in place to enable the implementation of choice. We’ve also seen a sharp increase in interest in our innovative products such as the Mercer Master Trust. Corporates often struggle to engage employees in pension and benefits, and are seeing the value that integrated investment and communication design can deliver.”