Consulting Firm Executives Say No Layoffs Planned

February 17, 2009 ( - Executives of Mercer and Callan Associates said Tuesday that they do not anticipate having to lay off staff as a result of the deal to merge Callan with Mercer's investment consulting business.

Jeff Schutes, Mercer’s US investment consulting leader and Callan President Gregory C.   Allen also indicated the two firms’ intention to retain members of both management teams with the merged organization being run by executives from both sides.

The executives said putting specific people in specific slots was premature because the two organizations needed to maintain independent businesses until after the proposed deal gets all needed regulatory approvals – a process they anticipate being concluded by the end of the first quarter.

“These are two viable organizations and the combined organization will be necessary if we want to grow our business,” Allen said during an afternoon conference call with reporters. “We don’t anticipate a lot of opportunity to lay off staff.”

The two executives asserted that a down market can actually represent additional business opportunities for investment consultants looking to be better able to serve clients with a more sophisticated and often global outlook. “This (merger) was done from a strategic perspective,” said Schutes. “We thought our combined resources are what the market needs right now.”

For example, Allen asserted, equity analysts may be refocused on the variety of other investment vehicles now popular among institutional investors.

The New York-based Mercer and the San Francisco-based Callan said Callan will be merged with its investment consulting business and that the resulting approximately 1,270 will represent one of the largest players in that niche.