As the U.S. economy makes progress in a slow recovery, the Mercer consulting and benefits outsourcing firm is trying to position itself to serve clients in an increasingly complex financial marketplace.

To that end, the company announced several management changes in its investments and retirement business. Andrew Kirton, the global head of investment consulting, will become the global chief investment officer, a newly created role. Mercer is counting on Kirton to ensure that its strategic intellectual capital, manager research and portfolio management can all deliver competitive investment solutions to clients.

“Mercer is committed to demonstrating global leadership in investment intellectual capital, manager research and multi-manager so solutions and to integrate the firm’s expertise to solve our clients’ most pressing issues,” M. Michele Burns, chairman and chief executive officer of Mercer.

Asghar Alam will assume Kirton’s old role as global head of investment consulting. Alam was Mercer’s U.S. head of investment consulting, and the company says he has a strong background in both the investments and retirement businesses. Mercer sees these two areas as critical to its growth, and Alam’s experience there will drive its integrated, single-provider approach to serving clients. Before joining Mercer, Alam led the global investing consulting and U.S. practices at Wyatt.

Jacques Goulet, currently Mercer’s regional business leader in the retirement, risk and finance business covering Europe, Middle East and Africa, will move to the U.S. to assume Alam’s title. Mercer says Goulet has played a major role in its success, working across borders and building a very successful financial strategy in conjunction with its investment consulting business.

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Also on the move this week:

BNY Mellon Wealth Management hired James Carley as vice president and sales director for its office in West Hartford, Conn. He had worked for Oppenheimer Trust Co., in Florham Park, N.J.

Brinton Eaton, a wealth advisory firm based in Madison, N.J., hired Melissa Archuleta as assistant director of operations. She was director of operations at Kabrik Trading, a New York City-based broker-dealer, where she managed firm-wide operations in accounting, compliance, information technology and back-office administration for the trading operation.

Corinthian Cove Consulting, based in Sausalito, Calif., hired Richard Graf and Sheila Warner as partners. Warner was a senior vice president at Callan Associates, and Graf had retired as chief executive officer of Marco Consulting Group.

Goldman Sachs Asset Management, based in New York City, hired Phil Callahan as a managing director for its Midwest region; Fred Conley as a vice president for the Southeast; and Suzanne von Staveren as vice president and chief operating officer of its defined contribution business. Callahan was head of Client Relations for a global macro hedge fund at Singer Partners

Hanson McClain Advisors, based in Sacramento, Calif., hired Jairo Gomez as director of retirement plan services. In that role, he will help small- and medium-sized businesses in the Sacramento valley set up their 401(k) plans. Previously, Gomez was a regional vice president for Transamerica Retirement Services, in its 401(k) division.

Nationwide Financial Services, based in Columbus, Ohio, hired five new field service representatives for its private sector retirement plans sales force. They are: Jamie Andersen, Pete Cressor, Darin Hall, Cindy Hanke and Ron Salvemini. They will meet with employees to educate them about their employers’ 401(k) plans, guide them through the enrollment process, and provide continued support to help employees make the most of their respective plans and increase participation.

New York Life Insurance Co. promoted Katherine O’Brien to senior vice president and deputy general counsel. She was first vice president and deputy counsel in the company's office of the general counsel after serving as its chief diversity officer in the human resources department for two years.

The Securities and Exchange Commission appointed Joesph K. Brenner chief counsel of the division of enforcement. He was a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, in Washington, D.C. There he was vice chair of its securities department

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