Mercer (consulting firm)

Mercer is the world's largest human resources consulting firm.[3] It is also the world's largest institutional investment advisor with over $10trn in assets under advice and more than $200bn in open architecture assets under delegated management.[4] Mercer has also been ranked as the largest outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) provider.[5] [6] Headquartered in New York City, Mercer has more than 23,000 employees, is based in more than 43 countries, and operates internationally in more than 130 countries.[7] Mercer is a subsidiary of global professional services firm Marsh & McLennan, and Mercer's $4.3 billion in 2016 revenue represented 33% of the parent company's consolidated revenue.[1]

Mercer, LLC
Subsidiary (LLC)
IndustryProfessional services
Founded1945 (1945)
HeadquartersNew York City, New York, U.S.
Number of locations
180 cities in 43 countries
Key people
Martine Ferland (President and CEO)
ProductsHuman resource consulting services, including retirement, health & benefits, human capital, surveys & products, communication, investments, outsourcing, and mergers & acquisitions
Revenue$4.3 billion (2016)[1]
Number of employees
~23,000 (2016)[2]
ParentMarsh & McLennan Companies


Started in the United States in 1937 as the employee benefits department of Marsh & McLennan, Inc., the company took the name of “William M. Mercer” in 1959, when Marsh & McLennan acquired William M. Mercer Limited, a Canadian firm founded by William Manson Mercer in Vancouver in 1945.[8] In 1959, Mercer became a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. In 2002, its name was changed to Mercer Human Resource Consulting.[9]

In 2004, Marsh and Mclennan folded its plagued Putnam Investments defined contribution business into its Mercer line and acquired Houston, TX-based Synhrgy HR Technologies, a human resources technology and outsourcing services company.[3] Also in 2004, Mercer admitted giving the NYSE board a compensation report that contained "omissions and inaccuracies" that led to a $139.5 million pay package for former NYSE Chairman Richard Grasso. Mercer had been brought in to advise the stock exchange on Grasso's 2003 contract and his request for $139.5 million. The consultancy returned $440,000 in fees it collected from the NYSE and provided key documents in the lawsuit.[10]

In 2007, the company became simply "Mercer".[11] Also in 2007, Mercer acquired Höfer Vorsorge-Management, a German actuarial and retirement consulting firm. At the time, the acquisition reportedly gave Mercer the top market position in Germany.[12]

In 2008, Mercer's Italian human capital consulting business merged with Tesi, an Italian competitor. The combined business, Mercer Tesi was noted at the time to be the largest HR consultancy in Italy.[13]

In 2010, Mercer acquired ORC Worldwide, an expert in international work assignments.[14] Also in 2010, Mercer acquired Brecksville, Ohio-based Innovative Process Administration LLC (IPA), a health benefits and technology provider.

In 2011, Mercer acquired Fort Lauderdale, FL-based Mahoney & Associates, a defined contribution plan provider.[15] Also in 2011, Mercer acquired Alicia Smith & Associates, a Washington DC-based Medicaid policy consulting firm.[16]

In 2013, Mercer acquired British Columbia-based Hall Consulting Limited (HCL), an HR consultant and salary surveyor focusing on the mining and energy business.[17] Also in 2013, Mercer acquired PricewaterhouseCoopers' pension windup (termination) administration business in Canada.[18] Also in 2013, Mercer acquired Global Remuneration Solutions (GRS), a South African compensation and benefits survey data and rewards information provider.[19]

In 2014, Mercer acquired Norwell, MA-based Transition Assist, a private health care exchange specializing in coverage for Medicare-eligible retirees.[20] Also in 2014, Mercer acquired Jeitosa Group International, a business and technology consultancy,[21] and acquired a 34% stake in South Africa-based employee benefits specialist Alexander Forbes.[22] Later that year, Mercer acquired Swiss private markets manager and consultant SCM,[23] and Denarius, a Santiago, Chile-based consulting firm focused on compensation and benefits survey and information products.[24]

In 2015, Mercer made two acquisitions. It acquired Hopkinton, MA-based Comptryx, a workforce metrics company offering surveying, modeling and analytics services,[25] and also acquired HRBS, a provider of career and talent consulting and information services to clients across Asia, with concentrated strength in Hong Kong, Singapore and mainland China.[26]

In 2016, Mercer acquired Pillar Administration in Australia from the NSW State Government. Pillar was Australia’s fourth largest superannuation administration provider, with more than $100 billion in funds under administration across 1.1 million member accounts.[27]

Lines of Business

Mercer's clients include a majority of the companies in the Fortune 1000 and FTSE 100,[28] and its main operating areas are:


In its Health division, Mercer advises and assists employers in the design and management of employee health care programs and administration of non-retirement related benefits packages.[28]


In 2017, Mercer combined its investment and retirement consulting practices into a new Wealth consulting division.[29] Clients served by this practice include pension plans (both defined benefit and defined contribution plans) and a range of institutional investors.[28] In December 2017, Mercer's investment assets under delegated management reached above $200 billion.[30]


Mercer's Career consulting practice advises organizations on the engagement, management, and compensation of employees, including HR effectiveness and executive remuneration programs.[28]


Since January 2013 Mercer has been organized into three geographic regions, each with a regional president: North America, EuroPac (Europe + Pacific markets of Australia and New Zealand) and Growth Markets (Asia, Africa and Latin America). Headquarters for the North American region are in New York City, for EuroPac in London, and for Growth Markets in Singapore. Less than half of the organization’s employees are based in North America.[2]

See also


  1. "Marsh & McLennan Companies Reports Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2016 Results". SEC Edgar. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  2. "Marsh & Mclennan 2015 10-K". EDGAR online. 2015-02-26. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  3. "Acquisition by Mercer to give new energy to high-flying Synhrgy". Houston Business Journals. 2004-01-18. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  4. "Mercer LLC Company Profile". Vault. Vault.
  5. "MERCER RANKED FIRST IN OCIO ASSETS GLOBALLY BY AI CIO MAGAZINE". Mercer News Room. Mercer. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  6. "2019 Outsourced-Chief Investment Officer Survey". AI-CIO. Ai-CIO. Retrieved 2019-02-25.
  7. "MARSH & MCLENNAN COMPANIE ... (MMC) 10-K". Edgar Online. Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  8. "Acing the Mercer Interview – An Overview of the Firm". 2013-04-08. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  9. "William Mercer changes name". 2002-04-18. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  10. "HR Figures Prominently in Stock Exchange Scandal". 2004-05-26. Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  11. "Mercer HR Consulting rebrands as Mercer". 2007-09-12. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  12. "Mercer acquires Höfer Vorsorge-Management in Germany". 2007-12-19. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  13. "Mercer & Tesi deal creates Italian market leader". 2008-10-16. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  14. "Mercer acquires ORC Worldwide to strengthen its capabilities in global workforce management". 2010-06-24. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  15. "Mercer buys Mahoney & Associates' practices". 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  16. "Mercer acquires Alicia Smith & Associates in D.C." Washington Business Journal. 2011-11-16. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  17. "Mercer acquires Hall Consulting". 2008-10-16. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  18. "Mercer to buy PwC's Canadian pension windup business". 2013-08-08. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  19. "Mercer in deal for Global Remuneration Solutions". 2013-09-03. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  20. "Mercer expands health care exchange offerings with acquisition". 2014-03-03. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  21. "Mercer Acquires Jeitosa Group International". 2014-10-27. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  22. "Mercer to buy Alexander Forbes stake". 2014-06-24. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  23. "Mercer acquires Swiss private markets manager/consultant". Pensions & Investments Online. 2014-06-24. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  24. "Marsh & McLennan Unit Mercer Buys Denarius". 2014-12-15. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  25. "Mercer acquires Comptryx, specialist in HR metrics".
  26. "Marsh & McLennan Arm to Offer Career Consulting in Asia".
  27. "Mercer acquires Pillar Administration". Investment Magazine. 2016-12-02. Retrieved 2019-05-02.
  28. "Marsh & McLennan Companies 2016 Form 10-K". SEC Edgar. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  29. Comtois, James (20 March 2017). "Mercer combines units to meet clients' shifting need". Pensions & Investments. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  30. Reuters Staff. "Mercer Says Global Assets Under Delegated Management Has Reached Approximately $213 Bln". Reuters. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
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