Investment consulting group Pavilion — a newly acquired offshoot of Mercer — has lost one of its lead consultants.
Alyssa Cheatham, who co-led Pavilion’s healthcare practice, had worked at the consulting firm since 2005. Last month, she left for a sales director role at Wells Fargo Asset Management, Mercer’s global head of wealth Rich Nuzum confirmed to Institutional Investor by phone on Thursday.
The Pavilion healthcare practice is now led entirely by Meggan O’Shea, a long-time Pavilion consultant who joined the firm in 1994. Between Pavilion and Mercer, Nuzum said the firms still have a “deep bench of talent” focused on healthcare institutions.
“Alyssa is a very gifted consultant,” Nuzum said. “We wish her all the success in the world.”
Cheatham’s departure comes roughly seven months after the finalization of Pavilion’s acquisition by Mercer. At the time the deal was announced, Nuzum told II that the decision to buy Pavilion had been motivated by the firm’s “strong” roster of consultants.
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“From Mercer’s perspective, the key issue was talent,” said Nuzum, who leads Mercer’s global wealth business. “We knew many of the senior consultants at Pavilion and had worked with them before. We had clients in common. We knew the talent was strong.”
Speaking to II on Thursday, Nuzum said that the integration of Mercer, Pavilion, and Summit Strategies Group — which was also purchased by Mercer last year — is “going really well.”
“The combination was really about growth, and that is what we’re seeing in general,” he said, noting that the firm is actively hiring for open positions across the three businesses.
Since the acquisitions, Nuzum said Mercer’s full-time manager research staff has grown to more than 200 people, while the firm now has 160 full-time consulting staffers focusing purely on alternatives. Voluntary staff turnover has been at a “normal level,” Nuzum said – “below what Summit, Pavilion, and Mercer had experienced in the three years leading up to the combination.”
“We never like to lose anybody good, but we see it happen,” he said.
Going forward, Nuzum said the plan for the Mercer wealth practice is to focus on organic growth — though he said the firm has been contacted by competitors looking to be acquired.
“The U.S. consulting industry is really challenged right now in terms of profitability and growth,” Nuzum said. “We’re focusing on serving our clients and growing organically.”