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Director, Investment Operations

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Company: Mercer

Job ID R_048615-en

Director, Investment Operations

U.S. Delegated Solutions

Background to the Role

Mercer's Delegated Solutions (DS) business provides sophisticated implementation and investment services to clients. The business has grown rapidly over recent years with $250bn of client assets now under management globally. Services are provided across a range of areas across traditional and alternative asset classes reflecting Mercer’s best investment ideas. Mercer’s Portfolio Management Team in turn selects third party managers, from Mercers list of “A” rated managers in each asset class thus combining Mercer's in-house portfolio management expertise with the depth and breadth of Mercer Investment’s global investment manager research. 

The U.S. Delegated Solutions business has grown to ~$100b as of 12/31/18, with a significant portion of that growth taking place in the prior 3 years. The U.S. business is undergoing a transformation, both operationally and digitally. The complexity in the business is a reflection of the critical needs of our clients. Mercer is seeking candidates to lead the investment operations group, setting the strategy and goals to build scale in the business and delivering superior service to our existing clients.

Job Overview

Reporting to the COO of U.S. Delegated Solutions, the successful candidate will be a key member of the leadership team.   Key aspects of the role are:

  • Trading of investment vehicles in support of client transitions and portfolio rebalances
  • Data governance and stewardship of key aspects of client and sub-advisor data
  • Planning and delivery of change to achieve strategic and operational objectives;
  • Developing a strong Operations Team, building scale and developing talent
  • Align people, process and technology to create a simple, scaleable, efficient platform for growth.
  • Deliver service excellence to our clients, both internal and external.
  • Maintain strong systems of controls and standards in our work.
  • Manage external 3rd party trading relationships ensuring that the service across the business is consistently at an expected standard, and facilitates the development of our client base and our business.

The Opportunity

The Director of Investment Operations will have day to day responsibilities for trading of client assets in both Mercer proprietary products as well as third party investment vehicles. The role will be responsible for data governance related to client and investment information along with client billing. The Person will also assist the COO with setting strategy and priorities related to trading, data and client billing functions and produce monthly metrics to monitor quality, staffing capacity and the volume of trading activity.

Trading operations is a team of 11 staff and supports clients across the Defined Benefits, Defined Contributions and Not For Profit business segments, coordinating certain activity with Mercer’s Alternative Investment business. In effort to build more scale, the person will also work with the COO and other members of the management team to identify opportunities to create efficiencies across our locations in Boston and St. Louis, while preserving the unique support requirements for each business segment.

The ideal candidate has demonstrated experience and success in the asset management business, having led teams in both daily operations as well as leading strategic projects. A technology savvy person with deep understanding of mutual funds, collective investment trusts and separate accounts is necessary.


Resource Management and Development

  • Lead and mange a multi-functional team across trading & execution
  • Develop a cohesive team that is clear with regard to each other’s roles and responsibilities and has agreed working standards and behaviours.
  • Communicate clearly and regularly with the team ensuring that everyone on the Team understands the wider business priorities, client updates, projects etc.
  • Foster a culture of continuous improvement from both a personal and professional development perspective.

Service Delivery & Change Management

  • Control and oversee day to day operational delivery for all aspects of trading & execution
  • Provide constructive challenge to existing practices/proposed initiatives and generate new and innovative solutions to address complex issues.
  • Lead and direct specified complex projects.
  • Ensure transformation initiatives are fully embedded, creating sustainable change.
  • Work in partnership with our clients, the wider business and the wider Operations Team to provide a professional service to our client base both internally and externally.
  • Identify proactively areas for service enhancement by meeting regularly with sales, investments, client services to understand ongoing and specific client requirements.
  • Actively participate in setting the strategic direction and management of the business.

Relationship & Stakeholder Management

  • Establish excellent working relationships with external vendors, operations, client services, Investments, Compliance and Legal by ensuring that we have regular feedback sessions with these areas covering items such as service levels, quality etc.
  • Be the lead point of contact with our trading partners for operational matters
  • Participate in global projects as required, building relationship with counterparts in other regions

Efficiency & Risk

  • Ensure effective governance structures and processes are in place.
  • Identify opportunities to drive costs reduction
  • Drive the development and enhancement of our core trading and billing systems
  • Apply external market knowledge, and internal benchmarks/capacity metrics and insights to identify opportunities to improve performance and practices.
  • Demonstrate a consistent commitment to service quality & risk management at all times through individual actions and communications with the team.
  • Be conscious of the risk of error and ensure that we have appropriate controls and checks in place to achieve consistently excellent results.

Skills and Experience

  • Extensive experience of working in the Investment Management and/or Fund Administration with excellent knowledge and understanding of the end-to-end service provided to clients.
  • Experience on alternative investments a distinct advantage.
  • Strong understanding and experience of the risks facing their business and corresponding risk mitigation strategies and strong understanding of compliance and regulatory issues.
  • End to end project/change management and delivery experience.
  • In depth people management and development skills.
  • Excellent problem solving skills, effective influencing and negotiation skills.
  • Results oriented with personal accountability.
  • Proven ability to engage with and present to existing and potential clients.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Adept at building and sustaining strong internal and external relationships at all levels.

Background on Mercer

Mercer is a global leader in investment consulting and fiduciary management and provides investment related services to a wide range of clients including pension funds, insurers and private banks. The firm also has a significant global presence in human resource consulting and related services. Globally, across all business segments, Mercer has more than 20,000 employees based in more than 40 countries.

Mercer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), a global team of professional services companies offering clients advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy and human capital. With over 50,000 employees worldwide and annual revenue exceeding $12 billion, Marsh & McLennan Companies is also the parent company of Marsh, a global leader in insurance broking and risk management; Guy Carpenter, a global leader in providing risk and reinsurance intermediary services; and Oliver Wyman, a global leader in management consulting. For more information, visit

Mercer is an equal opportunities employer

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