Social Issues

The benefits of Mercer Marsh

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 April, 2012, 12:00am

Part of the Marsh McLennan Group, Mercer and Marsh have long been regarded as two of the world's leading consulting firms. Both are known for offering a wide range of advisory services on everything from employee compensation to mergers and acquisitions. As of late, however, one of these areas was repackaged under a new and unified brand name, Mercer Marsh Benefits, through which many of the health and wellness solutions of both companies will be provided. Rick Gangwani talks to Rosaline Koo about the rationale behind the new approach.

What was the thinking behind the creation of the new brand?

Mercer and Marsh have been working together in many markets for more than 50 years. We wanted to formalise this relationship through the launch of the Mercer Marsh Benefits (MMB) brand in order to communicate to the market the advantages of working with us in the area of employee health and benefits.

What types of services are you offering under the new brand?

The services MMB will offer multinational headquarters and local operations around the world include global and regional benefits management, international benefits consulting, and local brokerage services.

How do these services differ from those previously offered by the Mercer and Marsh brands independently?

While these services were available before the MMB brand was launched, pulling them together under this brand helps provide clarity for corporate human resources directors and risk managers, and reminds them that they are a single network.

How will the workload be allocated between the staff at Mercer and the staff at Marsh?

Mercer and Marsh have different footprints in different countries. The most qualified and appropriate benefits professionals from either Mercer or Marsh will be assigned to work with clients in specific markets. For multinational assignments, all work across countries will be co-ordinated through a single point of contact.

Were there any internal transfers made to help launch the new brand?

Not to launch the new brand, but we have actually moved a lot of people to Asia from Europe, the United States and Canada to build up the business.

Looking forward, we will likely continue moving people to Asia given the pace of growth here.

We grew 700 per cent over the last seven years, and we plan to double again over the next three years.

I imagine you would have to hire externally as well then?

Oh, yes. As we double in size, we're going to bring in people with many different skill sets and levels of experience. We're also going to bring in some management trainees and interns so as to allow us to grow our own.

What type of experience might be most valuable for someone looking to work for you?

What we focus on is benefits for large employers. So in terms of their skills and background, we're looking for people who understand benefits, who understand healthcare.

In terms of the sales and consulting background, they could have worked on anything linked to sales or benefits.

What is your key focus now in terms of the Asia-Pacific region?

What we're really focused on now is being first to market with innovation. What we want to do now is to bring what we innovate out here in Asia before taking it out to the West.

What are some of the new innovations that Mercer is currently rolling out across Asia?

What we're working on now is something we call 'the gateway to employee healthcare.'

We want to be able to aggregate all of the providers of employee benefits and wellness solutions in each country. That would include all of the largest insurance providers, as well as all of the hospitals and clinics in a country.

So the new employees you hire will likely be offering this solution to clients?

That's right. And the clients they work with will not only include the largest multinationals across the region, but also the domestic conglomerates.