Former Mercer Europe RI head Emma Hunt joins rival consultant Towers Watson

Consultant cites growing RI demand from clients.

Emma Hunt, the former London-based principal and head of responsible investment for Europe at Mercer Investment Consulting is to join rival advisor Towers Watson, can reveal. Hunt will join Towers Watson’s Sustainable Investment team as a senior investment consultant, working with Jane Goodland, also a senior investment consultant. The consultant said Hunt’s hire indicated growing sustainability interest from clients. At the beginning of January, RI reported that Hunt would leave Mercer at the beginning of February. She starts later this month at Towers Watson’s Reigate office. Her future colleague Goodland will shortly be on maternity leave from the consultant. Paul Trickett, EMEA head of investment at Towers Watson, said: “More of our clients now have greater confidence that broad considerations – such as environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues – are consistent with their requirement to act in the best financial interests of members. As a result there is a lot more demand for advice in this area.This is another great hire for us as Emma brings not only an excellent reputation and high standing in the industry but valuable experience too, particularly in the ESG areas. This is a real coup for us and we are delighted she has decided to join Towers Watson.”
Towers Watson’s Sustainable Investment team works with the company’s 150-strong manager research staff to integrate sustainability into investment manager research. Mercer is currently seeking a replacement for Hunt to lead its responsible investment (RI) business in Europe. Separately, Roger Urwin, global head of investment content at Towers Watson, who has recently spoken at high-level conferences on strategic research into responsible investment issues, has agreed to become an advisory director to research firm MSCI Barra. Urwin will remain with Towers Watson, albeit dropping part of his management responsibilities.