Investment consultancy Mercer has promoted Jonathan Gove to market leader and hired Deborah Bannon in a newly created role as head of investment management, both for Greater China.

The moves come as Mercer expands its Asia-Pacific investment management business – headed by Stephen Roberts – beyond Australia and New Zealand. The firm is applying for a licence in Hong Kong that would allow it to launch its investment management business in Greater China, and it is also reviewing licensing requirements in China and Taiwan.

Gove's promotion was effective from last month. He replaces Guo Xin, who left the firm earlier this year. AsianInvestor could not ascertain his destination by press time.

Gove remains in Hong Kong and leads the Greater China market development team, reporting to Peter Promnitz, Mercer's Asia-Pacific head. Gove is working with some of Mercer’s most important clients covering its range of services including investment consulting, outsourcing, actuarial, and mergers and acquisitions.

“The Greater China market is an important one for Mercer in Asia-Pacific and globally,” says Promnitz. “I know under Jonathan’s leadership, the Greater China market leadership team will take advantage of the investment we are making into this market and the opportunities available to grow the business.”

Gove had been Hong Kong head since joining Mercer in 2009. Before that he spent 18 years at Oliver Wyman, a sister company under the same parent, Marsh McLennan Companies, where he was Hong Kong market leader and led the Greater China communications, media and technology practice.

Bannon joined the firm in Hong Kong in June, having since August 2010 been director of her own company, Asia Land Fund Advisors.

Prior to that she spent close to eight years as Hong Kong-based head of institutional sales for Asia at Pioneer Global Investments, a London-based fund manager with €178 billion ($253 billion) in assets across long-only and alternative investments.

She also worked for seven years as Asia general manager at Royal & Sun Alliance International Financial Services.