Leah Evans is a Principal in Mercer’s Financial Strategy Group and specialises in pension risk management. After spending some time working in New York, Leah returned to London last year and now provides strategic advice to large corporate and multinationals.
What is a typical day like for you?
A lot of my work is project based with a number running concurrently, requiring management of competing deadlines. I take responsibility for the advice we deliver to my clients and work with a team, often across departments and geographies, to develop any analysis and advice we present.
Most projects involve some form of analysis, ranging from simple liability estimates to long-term stochastic projections. Analysis is usually carried out by the team and I don’t usually get into the details of the modelling. I then review the outputs carefully to ensure their accuracy before presenting to the client.
As a nice change from client work, I have also been involved in internal projects in relation to intellectual capital and product development. This has provided me with a good insight into how our own business works.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
For me, the most enjoyable projects are those where there is a good partnership between my team and the client. Our clients see us as their trusted advisor, share their concerns and ambitions with us, and provide a real insight into the environment they operate in as well as their corporate culture. I find it really interesting to see the differences and similarities between the clients I work with.
Do you have any advice to anyone wanting to get into the industry?
Someone entering the industry now will probably not do the same type of work for their whole career, so I would advise looking for an employer that will offer you a good range of opportunities and support you in developing new skills. Once you start working, don’t be afraid to ask to get involved in specific projects, work with senior people you look up to, or move to a new team or even country to gain a broad range of experience.