Mercer (consulting firm)

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Mercer, LLC
Subsidiary (LLC)
Industry Professional services
Founded 1945; 75 years ago (1945)
Headquarters New York City, New York, U.S.
Number of locations
180 cities in 43 countries
Key people
Martine Ferland (President and CEO)
Products Human 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]
Parent Marsh & McLennan Companies
Website Edit this at Wikidata

Mercer is an American human resources consulting firm.[3] It is the world's largest outsourced asset manager with over $300 billion USD outsourced assets under management and $15 trillion USD under advisement in total.[4] Headquartered in New York City, the firm operates in more than 130 countries, and is the largest provider of outsourced chief investment officers.[5] [6] [7]

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.[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 troubled 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] and 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 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, particularly Hong Kong, Singapore and mainland China.[26]

In 2016, Mercer acquired Pillar Administration, 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]

After Marsh & McLennan's 2018 purchase of London-based Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT), operating in employee benefits and other financial services, the JLT business was integrated into Mercer.[28][29]

Lines of business[edit]

Mercer's clients include a majority of the companies in the Fortune 1000 and FTSE 100,[30] 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.[30]


In 2017, Mercer combined its investment and retirement consulting practices into a new Wealth consulting division.[31] Clients served by this practice include pension plans (both defined benefit and defined contribution plans) and a range of institutional investors.[30] In December 2017, Mercer's investment assets under delegated management reached above $200 billion.[32]


Mercer's Career consulting practice advises organizations on the engagement, management, and compensation of employees, including HR effectiveness and executive remuneration programs.[30]


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[edit]


  1. ^ "Marsh & McLennan Companies Reports Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2016 Results". SEC Edgar. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Marsh & Mclennan 2015 10-K". EDGAR online. February 26, 2015. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Acquisition by Mercer to give new energy to high-flying Synhrgy". Houston Business Journals. January 18, 2004. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  4. ^ "Mercer Global Assets Under Management Reaches OCIO Industry Milestone by Passing $300 billion USD". Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  5. ^ "MARSH & MCLENNAN COMPANIE ... (MMC) 10-K". Edgar Online. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  6. ^ "MERCER RANKED FIRST IN OCIO ASSETS GLOBALLY BY AI CIO MAGAZINE". Mercer News Room. Mercer. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  7. ^ "2019 Outsourced-Chief Investment Officer Survey". AI-CIO. Ai-CIO. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  8. ^ "Acing the Mercer Interview – An Overview of the Firm". April 8, 2013. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  9. ^ "William Mercer changes name". April 18, 2002. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  10. ^ "HR Figures Prominently in Stock Exchange Scandal". May 26, 2004. Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  11. ^ "Mercer HR Consulting rebrands as Mercer". September 12, 2007. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  12. ^ "Mercer acquires Höfer Vorsorge-Management in Germany". December 19, 2007. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  13. ^ "Mercer & Tesi deal creates Italian market leader". October 16, 2008. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  14. ^ "Mercer acquires ORC Worldwide to strengthen its capabilities in global workforce management". June 24, 2010. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  15. ^ "Mercer buys Mahoney & Associates' practices". July 20, 2011. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  16. ^ "Mercer acquires Alicia Smith & Associates in D.C." Washington Business Journal. November 16, 2011. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  17. ^ "Mercer acquires Hall Consulting". October 16, 2008. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  18. ^ "Mercer to buy PwC's Canadian pension windup business". August 8, 2013. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  19. ^ "Mercer in deal for Global Remuneration Solutions". September 3, 2013. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  20. ^ "Mercer expands health care exchange offerings with acquisition". March 3, 2014. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  21. ^ "Mercer Acquires Jeitosa Group International". October 27, 2014. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  22. ^ "Mercer to buy Alexander Forbes stake". June 24, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  23. ^ "Mercer acquires Swiss private markets manager/consultant". Pensions & Investments Online. June 24, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  24. ^ "Marsh & McLennan Unit Mercer Buys Denarius". December 15, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  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. December 2, 2016. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  28. ^ Burton, Lucy (September 18, 2018). "Bumper payouts and job cuts on the cards as US giant Marsh snaps up JLT for £4.9bn". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  29. ^ "Marsh & McLennan Welcomes Jardine Lloyd Thompson". Mercer. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  30. ^ a b c d "Marsh & McLennan Companies 2016 Form 10-K". SEC Edgar. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  31. ^ Comtois, James (March 20, 2017). "Mercer combines units to meet clients' shifting need". Pensions & Investments. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  32. ^ Reuters Staff. "Mercer Says Global Assets Under Delegated Management Has Reached Approximately $213 Bln". Reuters. Retrieved December 19, 2017.

External links[edit]