Mercer acquires investment consultancies Pavilion and Summit Strategies

21 August 2018

Global human resources consulting firm Mercer has announced the acquisition of two investment consultancies: Winnipeg-based Pavilion Financial and St. Louis-based Summit Strategies. The deals reinforce the capabilities of Mercer’s Wealth consulting division.

Mercer is one of the world’s top HR consultancies, offering advisory services in health (employee healthcare programs, benefits packages), wealth (investment and retirement consulting, pension plan advisory) and career (employee engagement, management, and compensation). Based in New York with 23,000 employees across 44 countries, the company services many of the world’s leading organizations, including a majority of the Fortune 1000.

The human resources consulting giant has now reinforced its Wealth consulting division with the acquisition of two investment consultancies: Winnipeg, Manitoba-based Pavilion and St. Louis, Missouri-based Summit Strategies.

Mercer acquires investment consultancies Pavilion and Summit Strategies


Founded in 2006, Pavilion has quickly grown to a headcount of 300 professionals across offices in North America, London, and Singapore. The firm was ranked 13th last year for worldwide assets under advisement (US$685 billion).

“Pavilion is a leading global investment services firm with great leadership talent supporting strong consulting and research capabilities, particularly for alternative investments,” said Rich Nuzum, President of Mercer’s global Wealth business. “In the US, Pavilion is a leading specialist in the defined contribution, endowment and foundation, healthcare, and insurance sectors. In Canada, Pavilion has a strong presence in private wealth management.”

Commenting on his firm’s acquisition, Pavilion President and CEO Daniel Friedman said, “Combining our creativity and knowledge base with Mercer’s global research resources will further enhance our team’s ability to serve our clients across the continuum of advisory and delegated services.”

Mercer will use the Pavilion brand to provide investment consulting services to institutional nonprofits and insurance sector clients.

Summit Strategies

St. Louis-based Summit Strategies was founded in 1995, and has approximately $160 billion under advisement. The investment consultancy supports institutional clients with advisory services in defined benefit pension plans, health care systems, foundations, defined contributions, and outsourced chief investment officer support.

“Summit is a strong investment consultant in the not-for-profit space, providing notable alternatives capabilities to hospitals and foundations,” commented Mercer’s Nuzum. “The depth and breadth of Summit’s expertise, coupled with our offerings, will benefit our collective client bases.”

Commenting on the transaction, Summit Founder and Principal Steve Holmes said, “We believe that having a global research footprint and a robust technology platform will better position us to support our clients. We’re excited to join Mercer and be able to bring their research capabilities and spectrum of holistic offerings to our clients.”

Both transactions are expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018.


HR consultancy Buck promotes seven to principal in Canada, 20 globally

13 February 2019

New York-based human resources and benefits consulting firm Buck has promoted 20 key executives to principal across its global operations, including seven in Canada. Eight senior team members have been promoted in the US, as well as five in the UK.

According to Buck, the advancements demonstrate a fulfillment of its "social contract" with its employees – recognizing deserving staff for their individual accomplishments and significant contributions to clients and the firm itself.


Lizann Reitmeier, an employee benefits expert who leads Buck's health practice, is now a principal. She has more than 25 years of consulting and group insurance experience. Before joining Buck four years ago, Reitmeier was a principal at Mercer. Prior to that, she was a senior consultant at Krieger + Associates, and a benefits consultant at Comprehensive Benefit Solutions. 

New principal Allen Minuskin is lead counsel for Canada, as well as associate general counsel for Buck Global. He has been with Buck since 2000. Prior to joining the firm nearly two decades ago, Minuskin spent four years as a lawyer at Watson Wyatt, specializing in pensions and benefits. 

HR consultancy Buck promotes seven to principal in Canada, 20 globally

Anne-Marie Hinger becomes a principal in the administration practice; she leads Canada’s outsourcing operation. Hinger has spent the breadth of her career at Buck, joining the firm in 1998 as a defined benefits administrator. She steadily progressed up the ranks, becoming program manager for change management and business transformation in 2011, then defined benefits services delivery leader in 2015. Hinger has since 2018 served as a director of service delivery within the defined benefit administration, as well as leader of Canadian outsourcing operations.

Daniel Bougie, now a principal, leads the Canadian defined benefit administration business. He has served as Buck's implementation and IT leader since 2017, a position he took on after working as a senior consultant. Bougie has been with Buck since 1991, save for a short two-year stint at Morneau Shepell, where he was a director of implementation. Over a three decade consulting career, he has built up extensive expertise in benefits administration.

Bougie has previously served as vice president of client management, manager of the Montreal office, and national director of systems integration.

The other promotions to principal in Canada are: Chris Bray (administration), leader of the defined contribution administration business in Canada; Luiza Console (administration), who focuses on outsourcing service delivery; and Jennifer Dunk (administration), leader of the health and welfare administration business in Canada.

US and UK

The eight principal promotions at Buck in the US are: Sharon Chernitsky (wealth), Nancy Gaffney (health), Nicole May (health), David Harwood (wealth), Jamie Scott (health), Cressie Spaldi (health), Will Whittle (engagement), and Julie Ziegler (chief marketing officer).

The five principal promotions in the UK are: Carmel Cahill (associate general counsel), Susanne Coogan (head of human resources), Ben Cumming (global consulting and strategy); Mark Williams (retirement consulting); and Mike Young (chief compliance officer).

"At Buck, our people are our greatest asset, and I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate these outstanding leaders for their many accomplishments, and for their efforts moving our business forward," Jack Freker, Buck's CEO, said. "We are delighted to build a world-class team of professionals by cultivating talent from within our organization."

“Our social contract is something we want all employees to have an awareness of and participate in, because when we work together, we can do incredible things," he added.

Related: Inderjit Jhajj appointed Buck's chief information officer