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Mercer advice arm looks to double in size

Mercer advice arm looks to double in size
 Benoit Hudon, head of wealth at Mercer UK

Mercer's financial planning arm has the capacity to double in size over the next five years, according to the company's head of wealth. 

Mercer launched the Mercer Jelf Financial Planning brand in 2016 following a major business restructure.

The company stated at the time it was responding to increased demand from employers to facilitate "impartial guidance and financial advice" for their employees.

Speaking with FTAdviser Benoit Hudon, head of wealth at Mercer UK, said the financial planning arm now had a team of 200, having doubled in size as a result of merging with employee benefits firm Jardine Lloyd Thompson.

Mercer's parent company, Marsh & McLennan, bought Jardine Lloyd Thompson last year in a £4.3bn deal

Mr Hudon said: "This uniquely positions us to help both the corporates, the employers, as well as the employees of those organisations.

"Market forces make it such that it is an area that is poised for growth and we do intend to seize that opportunity over the years to come. 

"We think it’s a business, without providing precise numbers, where there’s a scenario where it could double in size in the next five years."

Mr Hudon said there was an unmet need for advice in the UK, amid a shortage of financial planners, which the company could use to fuel its growth plans. 

Yesterday (November 26) Mercer Jelf Financial Planning announced it had appointed Standard Life's former platform distribution director Steve Sands to head up the business

Mr Hudon said parent company Marsh & McLennan had completed between 30 to 40 acquisitions over the past three years in various businesses in various countries and could soon look to the market again.  

He said: "JLT is the largest that we’ve done in quite some years, arguably it’s the largest that Marsh & McLennan has ever done.

"Obviously these acquisitions require bandwidth and we want to make sure we have this right.

"The integration is going really well and I would not be surprised if some point in the foreseeable future we turn to acquisition-mode again.

"Whether that’s small, big, targeted to certain countries or capabilities, that’s all to be defined." 

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

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