Peter Ryan-Kane is leaving his post as Asia-Pacific head of portfolio advisory at Willis Towers Watson (WTW), as the consultancy moves to reduce its focus on certain emerging markets, AsianInvestor can reveal.

The well-known industry veteran is on gardening leave and will officially depart the firm on April 10 after eight years in the role, and he will not be directly replaced. WTW has notified relevant clients and made arrangements to ensure their needs are met.

Ryan-Kane clarified that his move reflected the fact that the firm needed to evolve its business priorities. "Increasingly WTW sees the needs of clients evolving from advice and aid with each investment decision to an approach that is more relevant, manageable and sustainable for clients and WTW," he said by email.

“In Asia this means focusing on existing clients, with greater and added focus on core markets where most demand is expected for investment solutions, such as Australia, Japan and Greater China,” added Ryan-Kane. “This means spending less time expanding in what are now considered non-core markets and projects.”

WTW did not immediately respond to a request for comment by press time.

Asked about his next move, Ryan-Kane told AsianInvestor: “The two most obvious next steps for me are to establish a business myself or go to another big advisory firm.” He said he might be interested in working for a number of consultancies, such as Mercer, PwC, McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group or Oliver Wyman.

Ryan-Kane has advised numerous institutional investors in Asian emerging markets over the years on issues ranging from asset allocation to portfolio mandates to strategic plans. For instance, he worked closely with Thailand's Government Pension Fund on developing its overseas investment programme. 

He said he had also secured and worked with clients in Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Timor-Leste during his time at WTW.

Ryan-Kane sits on WTW’s global investment committee and chairs the Asia portfolio construction group. He has some 25 years of experience in financial markets as an adviser, investor, borrower and risk manager.

He was also recently appointed to the board of the G7+ Foundation, a UN initiative focused on the development of conflict-affected nations. 

Before rejoining WTW in April 2009, Ryan-Kane spent three years as Asia-Pacific head of distribution and product management at Credit Suisse Asset Management. Prior to that he was a senior investment consultant in Hong Kong at Watson Wyatt, WTW’s predecessor firm.

He has also served as global chief investment officer at US asset manager Invesco and head of fixed income at County Investment Management.