Mercer (consulting firm)

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Mercer, LLC
Subsidiary (LLC)
Industry Professional services
Founded 1975
Headquarters New York City, United States
Number of locations
180 cities in 40 countries
Key people
Julio Portalatin (Chairman and CEO)
Products Human resource consulting services, including retirement, health & benefits, human capital, surveys & products, communication, investments, outsourcing, and mergers & acquisitions
Revenue $4.2 billion[citation needed]
Number of employees
~20,500+ (2014)[1]
Parent Marsh & McLennan Companies
Slogan "Talent-Health-Retirement-Investments"

Mercer is the world's largest human resources consulting firm.[2] Headquartered in New York City, Mercer has more than 20,500 employees, is based in more than 40 countries, and operates internationally in more than 130 countries.[1] Mercer is a subsidiary of global professional services firm Marsh & McLennan.


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.[3] In 1959, Mercer became a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. In 2002, its name was changed to Mercer Human Resource Consulting.[4]

In 2004, the company acquired Houston, TX-based Synhrgy HR Technologies, a human resources technology and outsourcing services company.[2] 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.[5]

In 2007, the company became simply "Mercer."[6] 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.[7]

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.[8]

In 2010, Mercer acquired ORC Worldwide, an expert in international work assignments.[9] 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.[10] Also in 2011, Mercer acquired Alicia Smith & Associates, a Washington DC-based Medicaid policy consulting firm.[11]

In 2013, Mercer acquired British Columbia, Canada-based Hall Consulting Limited (HCL), a hr consultant and salary surveyor focusing on the mining and energy business.[12] Also in 2013, Mercer acquired PricewaterhouseCoopers' pension windup (termination) administration business in Canada.[13] Also in 2013, Mercer acquired Global Remuneration Solutions (GRS), a South African compensation and benefits survey data and rewards information provider.[14]

In 2014, Mercer acquired Norwell, MA-based Transition Assist, a private health care exchange specializing in coverage for Medicare-eligible retirees.[15] Also in 2014, Mercer acquired Jeitosa Group International, a business and technology consultancy,[16] and acquired a 34% stake in South Africa-based employee benefits specialist Alexander Forbes.[17] Later that year, Mercer acquired Swiss private markets manager and consultant SCM,[18] and Denarius, a Santiago, Chile-based consulting firm focused on compensation and benefits survey and information products.[19]

In 2015, Mercer acquired Hopkinton, MA-based Comptryx, a workforce metrics company offering surveying, modeling and analytics services.[20]

Lines of business[edit]

Mercer offers consulting and research services in the areas of health, retirement, investments and talent.[21] Additionally, Mercer has an M&A business segment that provides consulting services regarding human capital and related issues in financial transactions. The company helps clients with global HR issues, balance sheet risk and post-acquisition integration.[22] In certain markets around the world, Mercer provides localized employee benefit services under the Mercer Marsh Benefits name in partnership with sister operating company, Marsh.


Mercer's Health & Benefits business assists employers with the design, management and administration of employee health care programs, and offers support managing related compliance issues. Mercer also provides a private benefits exchange called Mercer Marketplace.[23]


Mercer's Retirement group provides strategic and compliance-related retirement services and solutions, including assistance in the design, governance and risk management of defined benefit, defined contribution and hybrid retirement plans.


Mercer's Investments group provides investment consulting and other services for wealth management companies including pension fund sponsors, foundations and endowments. These institutional investment services range from strategy and implementation to portfolio management. Investment services include manager of managers funds offered to institutional investors such as retirement plans, endowments and foundations and wealth managers. As of December 31, 2014, Mercer had assets under management of $116 billion worldwide.[21]

The Mercer Pension Risk Exchange helps companies move their pension liabilities to an annuity insurer. The platform allows pension plan sponsors to execute group annuity buyouts more quickly, with competitive pricing.[24]

Mercer's Retirement, Health and Investments businesses also provide outsourced benefits administration services.


Mercer's Talent businesses offer advisory services in the areas of improving employee engagement, management and employee compensation, including improving the effectiveness of their clients human resource operations.

Within the Talent group, the Information Products Solutions business provides clients with human capital information and analytical capabilities to improve strategic human capital decision making. The Communications business helps clients plan and implement HR programs and other organizational changes designed to maximize employee engagement, drive desired employee behaviors and achieve improvements in business performance.

The Talent group offers proprietary survey data and decision support tools to provide clients with information to improve decisions related to talent management.

Survey data[edit]

The Mercer Quality of Living Survey is designed to help companies create compensation packages for executives loving overseas.[25]

The Mercer National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Benefits shows trends in employer-sponsored benefits.[26]

Decision support tools[edit]

The Mercer Mobile Housing Solution allows HR managers to calculate expatriate living expenses.[27]


Mercer's Mergers and Acquisitions Transactions Services group supports clients with issues related to cross-border transactions, divestitures, mergers, and related HR integration services.[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.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "About Us". Retrieved 2015-11-06. 
  2. ^ a b "Acquisition by Mercer to give new energy to high-flying Synhrgy". Houston Business Journals. 2004-01-18. Retrieved 2015-11-06. 
  3. ^ "Acing the Mercer Interview – An Overview of the Firm". 2013-04-08. Retrieved 2015-11-06. 
  4. ^ "William Mercer changes name". 2002-04-18. Retrieved 2015-11-06. 
  5. ^ "HR Figures Prominently in Stock Exchange Scandal". 2004-05-26. Retrieved 2015-11-06. 
  6. ^ "Mercer HR Consulting rebrands as Mercer". 2007-09-12. Retrieved 2015-11-06. 
  7. ^ "Mercer acquires Höfer Vorsorge-Management in Germany". 2007-12-19. Retrieved 2015-11-06. 
  8. ^ "Mercer & Tesi deal creates Italian market leader". 2008-10-16. Retrieved 2015-11-06. 
  9. ^ "Mercer acquires ORC Worldwide to strengthen its capabilities in global workforce management". 2010-06-24. Retrieved 2015-11-06. 
  10. ^ "Mercer buys Mahoney & Associates' practices". 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2015-11-06. 
  11. ^ "Mercer acquires Alicia Smith & Associates in D.C.". Washington Business Journal. 2011-11-16. Retrieved 2015-11-06. 
  12. ^ "Mercer acquires Hall Consulting". 2008-10-16. Retrieved 2015-11-06. 
  13. ^ "Mercer to buy PwC's Canadian pension windup business". 2013-08-08. Retrieved 2015-11-06. 
  14. ^ "Mercer in deal for Global Remuneration Solutions". 2013-09-03. Retrieved 2015-11-06. 
  15. ^ "Mercer expands health care exchange offerings with acquisition". 2014-03-03. Retrieved 2015-11-06. 
  16. ^ "Mercer Acquires Jeitosa Group International". 2014-10-27. Retrieved 2015-11-06. 
  17. ^ "Mercer to buy Alexander Forbes stake". 2014-06-24. Retrieved 2015-11-07. 
  18. ^ "Mercer acquires Swiss private markets manager/consultant". Pensions & Investments Online. 2014-06-24. Retrieved 2015-11-07. 
  19. ^ "Marsh & McLennan Unit Mercer Buys Denarius". 2014-12-15. Retrieved 2015-11-07. 
  20. ^ "Mercer Acquires Workforce Metrics Company Comptryx". 2015-09-30. Retrieved 2015-11-07. 
  21. ^ a b c "Marsh & Mclennan 2015 10-K". EDGAR online. 2015-02-26. Retrieved 2015-11-06. 
  22. ^ "Mercer Strengthens M&A Consulting with Two Appointments". 2013-10-04. Retrieved 2015-11-06. 
  23. ^ "Mercer Signs First Group of Insurance Carriers to Mercer Marketplace Private Exchange". Retrieved 2015-11-06. 
  24. ^ "Exchange helps pension sponsors shop annuity insurers". 2015-06-09. Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  25. ^ "Vienna Tops 2015 List Of The Most Livable Cities On Earth". 2015-03-05. Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  26. ^ "Health benefits costs back on the rise: Mercer survey". 2014-09-11. Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  27. ^ "Mercer introduces expatriate housing portal for mobility managers". 2013-06-26. Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  28. ^ "M&A Transaction Services". Retrieved 2015-11-05. 

External links[edit]