IndustryInvestment management
Number of locations
180 cities in 43 countries
Key people
Martine Ferland (President and CEO)
ProductsAsset management, including retirement, health & benefits, human capital, surveys & products, communication, investments, outsourcing, and mergers & acquisitions
Revenue5,021,000,000 United States dollar (2019) Edit this on Wikidata
Number of employees
25,000 (2019) Edit this on Wikidata
ParentMarsh & McLennan

Mercer is an American asset management firm.[1] It is the world's largest outsourced asset manager with over US$300 billion outsourced assets under management and US$15 trillion under advisement in total.[2] Headquartered in New York City, the firm operates in more than 130 countries, and is the largest provider of outsourced chief investment officers.[3][4][5]

Mercer is a subsidiary of global professional services firm Marsh & McLennan.


Foundation and early years (1937-1959)

William Manson Mercer founded William M. Mercer, Limited in Vancouver, Canada in 1945. It was acquired by Marsh & McLennan and merged into their employee benefits department in 1959.[6][7]

Post acquisition growth (1959-2002)

Mercer Consulting Group

In 1975, Marsh & McLennan converted their benefits operations into a wholly owned subsidiary, William M. Mercer, Inc. In 1992, a holding company was created for Marsh & McLennan's three global consulting businesses, known as Mercer Consulting Group.[8] William M. Mercer, Inc. continued to provide actuarial and employee benefits consulting within the group alongside two sister companies: Mercer Management Consulting and National Economic Research Associates, Inc, which provided corporate strategy consulting and economic consulting, respectively.[9]

Mercer Delta Consulting

In 2000, Mercer Consulting Group acquired Delta Consulting Group for its organizational development and change management expertise.[10] Founded by organizational theorist David A. Nadler in 1980, Delta Consulting Group worked to structure effective executive teams.[11][12] The firm had an influential client list, including corporations such as 3M, Citicorp, Procter & Gamble, The New York Times, and Xerox.[13][14]

The new entity was renamed Mercer Delta Consulting, and maintained its specialty in leadership and organizational change.[15][16] The group grew through further acquisitions of Canadian Johnston Smith International, French Change Management Consultants, Spanish c.r.m. Concord, and American CDR International.[17] They surveyed directors of the Fortune 1000 annually and monitored developments in business governance.[18] In contrast to the traditional organizational structure, where business units within an organization are clearly defined, Mercer Delta was a proponent of strategically aligned business units that were linked to a larger organization with which they could share capabilities when needed, and operate separately from when they were not.[19]

Mercer Human Resource Consulting (2002-2007)

In 2002, William M. Mercer Inc. changed its name to Mercer Human Resource Consulting.[20]

In 2004, Marsh & McLennan folded its troubled Putnam Investments defined contribution business into its Mercer line and acquired Houston, Texas-based Synhrgy HR Technologies, a human resources technology and outsourcing services company.[1] 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.[21]

In 2005, Marsh & McLennan split Mercer Human Resources Consulting from Mercer Consulting Group. The five consultancies which remained in the group were renamed Mercer Specialty Consulting.[22]

Mercer (2007-present)

In 2007, three of the five speciality consulting units - Mercer Delta Consulting, Mercer Oliver Wyman and Mercer Management Consulting - were merged into management consultancy Oliver Wyman.[23] Oliver Wyman, along with the two remaining speciality units (NERA Economic Consulting and Lippincott) became a separate subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan known collectively as Oliver Wyman Group.[24]

In September, the Mercer Human Resource Consulting became simply "Mercer".[25] In December, 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.[26]

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.[27]

In 2010, Mercer acquired ORC Worldwide, an expert in international work assignments.[28] 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, Florida-based Mahoney & Associates, a defined contribution plan provider.[29] Also in 2011, Mercer acquired Alicia Smith & Associates, a Washington DC-based Medicaid policy consulting firm.[30]

In 2013, Mercer acquired British Columbia-based Hall Consulting Limited (HCL), an HR consultant and salary surveyor focusing on the mining and energy business.[31] Also in 2013, Mercer acquired PricewaterhouseCoopers' pension windup (termination) administration business in Canada,[32] and Global Remuneration Solutions (GRS), a South African compensation and benefits survey data and rewards information provider.[33]

In 2014, Mercer acquired Norwell, MA-based Transition Assist, a private health care exchange specializing in coverage for Medicare-eligible retirees.[34] Also in 2014, Mercer acquired Jeitosa Group International, a business and technology consultancy,[35] and a 34% stake in South Africa-based employee benefits specialist Alexander Forbes.[36] Later that year, Mercer acquired Swiss private markets manager and consultant SCM,[37] and Denarius, a Santiago, Chile-based consulting firm focused on compensation and benefits survey and information products.[38]

In 2015, Mercer made two acquisitions. It acquired Hopkinton, MA-based Comptryx, a workforce metrics company offering surveying, modeling and analytics services,[39] 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.[40] In that same year, Mercer sold its US defined contribution administration business to Transamerica.[41]

In 2016, Mercer acquired Pillar Administration, Australia from the New South Wales 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.[42]

In 2017, Mercer combined its investment and retirement consulting practices into a new Wealth consulting division.[43] In December 2019, Mercer's investment assets under management reached above $300 billion.[44]

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.[45][46]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Acquisition by Mercer to give new energy to high-flying Synhrgy". Houston Business Journals. January 18, 2004. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  2. ^ "Mercer Global Assets Under Management Reaches OCIO Industry Milestone by Passing $300 billion USD". Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  3. ^ "MARSH & MCLENNAN COMPANIE ... (MMC) 10-K". Edgar Online. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  4. ^ "MERCER RANKED FIRST IN OCIO ASSETS GLOBALLY BY AI CIO MAGAZINE". Mercer News Room. Mercer. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  5. ^ "2019 Outsourced-Chief Investment Officer Survey". AI-CIO. Ai-CIO. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  6. ^ "Acing the Mercer Interview – An Overview of the Firm". April 8, 2013. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  7. ^ "America's Top Management Consulting Companies". The HR Digest. May 5, 2020. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  8. ^ "Company Profile: Mercer". Actuary Jobs.
  9. ^ "Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. History". Funding Universe.
  10. ^ Woolsey, Christine (March 25, 2000). "Mercer Consulting Group Plans Acquisition of Delta Consulting". HR Hub. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  11. ^ Nadler, David A. (January 1, 1996). "Managing the Team at the Top". strategy+business.
  12. ^ America, North (June 8, 1999). "Building Leadership Through Teamwork". Knowledge@Wharton.
  13. ^ Nadler, David (April 23, 1989). "BUSINESS FORUM: MAKING CORPORATIONS SMARTER; Failures Can Be Productive". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.
  14. ^ Pearlstein, Steven (June 29, 1998). "REINVENTING XEROX CORP". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286.
  15. ^ Schneyer, Fred (January 26, 2005). "Storms to Run Mercer HR Consulting in MMC Reorg". PLANSPONSOR.
  16. ^ Woolsey, Christine (March 24, 2000). "Mercer Consulting Group Plans Acquisition of Delta Consulting". HR Hub.
  17. ^ "A HISTORY OF FORWARD THINKING". Oliver Wyman.
  18. ^ "Directors Exert More Influence in Boardroom". University of Southern California News. April 4, 2005.
  19. ^ "Partners in wealth". The Economist. ISSN 0013-0613.
  20. ^ "Mercer to adopt new name". Business Insurance. April 5, 2002. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  21. ^ "HR Figures Prominently in Stock Exchange Scandal". May 26, 2004. Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  22. ^ "MMC Announces Organizational Changes at Mercer". Marsh & McLennan Investor News.
  23. ^ "Mercer units combine to form new consultancy". Business Insurance. May 9, 2007. Retrieved August 24, 2020.(subscription required)
  24. ^ "Marsh & McLennan Companies Annual Report".
  25. ^ "Mercer HR Consulting rebrands as Mercer". September 12, 2007. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  26. ^ "Mercer acquires Höfer Vorsorge-Management in Germany". December 19, 2007. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  27. ^ "Mercer & Tesi deal creates Italian market leader". October 16, 2008. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  28. ^ "Mercer acquires ORC Worldwide to strengthen its capabilities in global workforce management". June 24, 2010. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  29. ^ "Mercer buys Mahoney & Associates' practices". July 20, 2011. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  30. ^ "Mercer acquires Alicia Smith & Associates in D.C." Washington Business Journal. November 16, 2011. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  31. ^ "Mercer acquires Hall Consulting". October 16, 2008. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  32. ^ "Mercer to buy PwC's Canadian pension windup business". August 8, 2013. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  33. ^ "Mercer in deal for Global Remuneration Solutions". September 3, 2013. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  34. ^ "Mercer expands health care exchange offerings with acquisition". March 3, 2014. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  35. ^ "Mercer Acquires Jeitosa Group International". October 27, 2014. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  36. ^ "Mercer to buy Alexander Forbes stake". June 24, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  37. ^ "Mercer acquires Swiss private markets manager/consultant". Pensions & Investments Online. June 24, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  38. ^ "Marsh & McLennan Unit Mercer Buys Denarius". December 15, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  39. ^ "Mercer acquires Comptryx, specialist in HR metrics".
  40. ^ "Marsh & McLennan Arm to Offer Career Consulting in Asia".
  41. ^ "Transamerica to buy Mercer's defined contribution administration business". Business Insurance. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  42. ^ "Mercer acquires Pillar Administration". Investment Magazine. December 2, 2016. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  43. ^ Comtois, James (March 20, 2017). "Mercer combines units to meet clients' shifting need". Pensions & Investments. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  44. ^ "Mercer Global Assets Under Management Reaches OCIO Industry Milestone by Passing $300 billion USD". Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  45. ^ 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.
  46. ^ "Marsh & McLennan Welcomes Jardine Lloyd Thompson". Mercer. Retrieved January 26, 2020.