Phil Parkinson appointed Mercer’s UK Investments and Retirement Leader

07 December 2022 3 min. read
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Mercer has appointed a new lead for its investments and retirement practice in the UK. Parkinson will join Mercer’s UK leadership team and will oversee Mercer UK’s investments and retirement business strategy, as well as other growing segments such as financial institutions and endowments and foundations.

Parkinson, who was recently leading the DC segment of Mercer’s UK Wealth business, said of the appointment, “This is an exciting next step in Mercer’s journey… I believe Mercer’s Wealth business has even more potential to unlock and I look forward to working with the team to advance our services to clients, providing the tools, advice and solutions they need through this challenging time. Now more than ever, we need to embody our purpose of making a difference to the people we serve.”

2022 has been a difficult year for UK pensions and investments managers. While pension funding rallied at the start of the year, after months of uncertainty around the pandemic, the cost of living crisis led to a fall in contributions from many British households. The situation worsened when a market meltdown in response to the short-lived Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget, several pension funds managing vast sums on behalf of retired people across Britain came close to collapse.

Phil Parkinson, Investments and Retirement Leader, Mercer

The situation triggered the Bank of England to stage an emergency intervention to calm turmoil in financial markets, as pension funds with more than £1 trillion invested in them came under severe strain, and a “large number” were seemingly in danger of going bust. And while the situation has moderately calmed since, pensions funds are by no means out of the woods. Many will be preparing for the worst, should the UK economy further tank in the coming months – meaning demand for pensions advisory and trustee services is rising.

Mercer’s advice to defined benefit (DB) pensions, defined contribution (DC) pensions will likely be more sought after, and important, than in a very long time. To help ensure the firm delivers top service to its clients on this basis, Parkinson will take on the role of Investments and Retirement Leader with Mercer UK from the first day of 2023. He takes over the role from Benoit Hudon, who will then concentrate solely on his role as President and CEO of Mercer UK.

Hudon remarked, “Phil brings a great depth of expertise at an important time for our business and for the industry at large. This is a crucial time for the balance of DB and DC pensions, where all of our clients will be looking to us to help them navigate the challenging economic environment, while they maximise the outcomes for their stakeholders. Phil’s mixed DB, DC, consulting and product knowledge will further expand our team’s capabilities and will help our clients navigate these issues. I am confident that under Phil’s leadership, the team will build on its purpose to make a difference in people’s lives, which we do through the delivery of high-quality tools, advice and solutions.”

Mercer has announced the appointment of Philip Parkinson as its new Investments and Retirement Leader in the UK, effective from 1 January 2023, subject to FCA approval. Mr Parkinson joins Mercer’s UK leadership team and will oversee Mercer UK’s Investments and Retirement business strategy across defined benefit (DB) pensions, defined contribution (DC) pensions, and other growing segments such as Financial Institutions and Endowments and Foundations. Mr Parkinson takes over from