Kristen Kohere-Soutar appointed Mercer New Zealand's Chair, and Paula Jackson joins as non-executive director

31 January 2020

New Zealand, Auckland


Mercer has appointed Kristen Kohere-Soutar as Chairperson of its New Zealand Board, following the retirement of Ross Butler. 

Mercer’s CEO New Zealand Martin Lewington said under Ms Kohere-Soutar’s leadership the business would continue to deliver strong outcomes for clients, colleagues and the New Zealanders served by the business.

“In the two-and-a-half years since Kristen joined our Board as an independent non-executive director, we have benefited greatly from her insights and expertise. Kristen has held previous directorships with Foundation North and Whai Rawa Funds Limited, leadership roles with Kiwibank and NZTE, and has iwi affiliations to Ngati Porou, Ngai Tahu and Rongowhakaata. Her experience in governance, corporate strategy, stakeholder management and leadership with iwi among a number of other areas has complemented the skill-set of other directors,” Mr Lewington said.

“With Kristen at the helm, I have every confidence that Mercer will continue to create better lives for New Zealanders.”

Mr Lewington also thanked Mr Butler for his service.

“Ross’ leadership over the past seven years as a member of the Board and Chair has been invaluable. In this time we’ve made some significant achievements when it comes to delivering the best investment outcomes for our customers and clients. 

“We’re indebted to his unwavering commitment to ensuring we hold ourselves to the highest standard when it comes to acting in the best interests of New Zealanders. We wish him all the best in his endeavours,” he said. 

Ms Kohere-Soutar said Mercer has a strong strategy in place to reach its objectives, and the Board and leadership team are well equipped to achieve continued success.

“As the needs of customers and clients change, we must be nimble and agile enough to adapt. We’re seeing climate issues and sustainability as major themes becoming more important to New Zealanders. We are proud to be committed to responsible investing, leveraging Mercer’s local and global investment research and management for the benefit of all New Zealand investors, including foundations and iwi post-settlement entities,” Ms Kohere-Soutar said.

Mr Lewington also announced the addition of Paula Jackson to Mercer’s New Zealand Board, effective 1 February. 

Ms Jackson brings to the Board extensive global experience in marketing, technology and business disruption across the telecommunications and banking sectors. She serves as a director and trustee of several organisations, including Airways New Zealand and Quotable Value New Zealand Limited. 

“We’re proud to be adding Ms Jackson to our Board for further diversity of thought, expertise and a fresh perspective. She will make a significant contribution to our business and support our leadership team in achieving strategic objectives drawing on her unique insights and experience,” said Mr Lewington.

Ms Jackson said she was looking forward to working with Ms Kohere-Soutar, other Board directors and the New Zealand leadership team.

“Mercer has a strong reputation in the market and its global scale combined with local expertise positions them well to partner with New Zealanders in achieving their investment goals. I’m delighted to join the Board as an independent non-executive director and am excited to be playing a part in helping New Zealanders have a better quality of life in retirement,” Ms Jackson said. 



About Mercer

Mercer builds brighter futures by redefining the world of work, reshaping retirement and investment outcomes, and unlocking real health and well-being. Mercer’s more than 25,000 employees are based in 44 countries and the firm operates in over 130 countries. Mercer is a business of Marsh & McLennan (NYSE: MMC), the world’s leading professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people, with 75,000 colleagues and annualized revenue approaching $17 billion. Through its market-leading businesses including MarshGuy Carpenter and Oliver Wyman, Marsh & McLennan helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment. For more information, visit Follow Mercer on Twitter or LinkedIn.