Mercer announces senior leadership appointments from JLT in the UK

05 February 2019

Mercer has announced a quartet of senior leadership appointments from JLT in the UK. The move follows Mercer’s purchase of the UK insurance broker to create the largest pensions consultancy in the country.

Marsh & McLennan Companies sealed a £4.3 billion takeover of UK insurance broker Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT) in September 2018. The move saw Marsh & McLennan, which holds market capital of £31 billion and owns consultancy giant Mercer, retain JLT's existing commitments to its defined benefit schemes, including planned deficit recovery contributions and contractually-required contributions. The resulting merger of Mercer and JLT’s Employee Benefits division has forged the largest pensions consulting business in the UK by turnover.

As part of that move, Mercer has confirmed a series of new leadership appointments related to the JLT acquisition. This includes a trio of additions to the existing UK Wealth Leadership Team, led by recent appointee Benoit Hudon, and a single appointment to Mercer’s UK Technology wing.

Mercer announces senior leadership appointments from JLT in the UK

Karen Phillips will become Head of Mercer’s UK Financial Planning business, focusing on growing the combined financial planning businesses to meet ever increasing needs for financial advice. Prior to her nine years with JLT Wealth Management, where she was most recently Chief Executive Officer, Phillips spent four years with iimia Financial Planning, where she held the same role.

Malcolm Reynolds, Managing Director of JLT UK Employee Benefits Services, will become Client Leader for Mercer’s UK Administration Services and will work alongside Rich Tuff, UK & Ireland Administration Leader, to combine the two administration capabilities. Before joining JLT in 2002, Reynolds spent 13 years with PwC, becoming a Director at the Big Four firm before his exit for new pastures.

Steven Robinson, who is also PwC alumni having spent 6 years with the firm, has been with JLT for the last 18 years, and was most recently made Managing Director of its Trustee and Corporate Consulting wing. He will now lead the Mid-Market Segment for Mercer’s UK Wealth business as well as being responsible for developing the overall offering, including insured defined benefit arrangements, for the combined organisation in the UK.

Teresa Beach, meanwhile, will join Mercer’s UK Technology arm. A former PA Consulting Partner, Beach was most recently Managing Director of JLT Technology Solutions. When the two firms agreed to merge, she became a member of the Mercer/JLT integration team, and will continue to lead the UK Technology Solutions reporting to Bala Viswanathan, who will become Mercer’s Chief Operating Officer once the deal obtains regulatory clearance.

David Anderson, President, International at Mercer, said of the new appointments, “These new leaders will bring considerable knowledge and experience of the JLT business, its clients and people, to our already strong leadership teams. Together they will be core to ensuring the successful integration of our combined businesses. Pending the outcome of the regulatory process, we look forward to welcoming our new colleagues to the Mercer team.”

The appointments span the UK and the continent, with a single appointment in Mercer’s Delegated Solutions wing in Europe. Mark McNulty, Managing Director of Investment Solutions at JLT, will take on the role of European Head of Clients for Mercer’s Delegated Solutions business.


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Accenture's Rothco installs new Executive Creative Director

24 April 2019

Jen Speirs is set to take over from Alan Kelly as the Executive Creative Director of Accenture Interactive-owned agency Rothco. Speirs arrives as Kelly takes up the role of Chief Creative Officer at the firm.

Rothco is a full-service creative agency based in Dublin. Founded in 1995, the firm contains more than 150 strategic, creative, technology, design, project management and production professionals located in Ireland’s capital city. The agency strategically plans, designs and produces powerful communications campaigns across Europe for numerous iconic brands, including Tesco, Heineken and Lyons. Internationally recognised for its prowess in the sector, Rothco notably found success at the Cannes Lions awards in both 2015 and 2016.

Such success inevitably drew the eye of Accenture during its extended spending spree to strengthen its digital design and advertising offerings, housed under the Accenture Interactive moniker. A year after purchasing Rothco, Accenture Interactive has since continued this push into the advertising space, acquiring New York and London-based agency Droga5 earlier this month, and adding illustrious clients such as HBO, Amazon and The New York Times to its roster of clients. Despite its purchase, Rothco has also been undergoing its own period of change, however.

With the news that long-term incumbent Alan Kelly had won a promotion from his position as Executive Creative Director (ECD), the agency commenced a hunt for his replacement. Kelly joined Rothco nine years ago as a Copywriter, and has now worked his way up to the role of Chief Creative Officer. Assuming that office, he will pass on his previous role to Jen Speirs, who exits BMF Australia, relocating half way around the world to fill the vacancy.

Accenture's Rothco installs new Executive Creative Director

Speirs was appointed BMF’s Deputy Executive Creative Director in March 2018, having joined BMF as a creative director in 2016 from her previous role at Foxtel, where she was a Freelance Creative Director. Following her arrival at BMF, she worked across brands such as McDonald’s, Carefree, Arnott’s, Berlei, TAL, Bonds, BWS, UN Women and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, while her work has picked up awards at NY Festivals, Clio, AWARD, Cannes, Effies, Media Federation, Caples, and Spikes Asia. Speirs also worked at DDB Sydney as Creative Director for six years, with clients such as Telstra, Lipton and Johnson & Johnson.

Commenting on her new challenge, Speirs said, "When I look at a lot of Rothco's work, like JFK Unsilenced, the #takenotice breast cancer campaign on the Molly Malone Statue, Sleeping Flags – it all has that perfect combination of creativity, innovation and craft… So the opportunity to go and be a part of that, and work with the awesome people I’ve met so far, was far too good to say no to. I can’t wait to get over there and get stuck in.”

Remarking on Speirs’ arrival, Kelly added, "I am chuffed we have poached someone as incredibly talented as Jen Speirs. I think it’s a testament to the work we are doing in Rothco that we are attracting world-class talent like Jen to these shores. Jen is a super addition to the team as she is both gifted and decent, two qualities we always look for when we hire. I also may have told her that Dublin's weather is pretty much the same as Sydney's – hopefully, she hasn't fact-checked this yet."

Related: Accenture's push into the creative sector is an identity crisis.