is a human resource
Human resource consulting is an $18.4 billion industry that has emerged from management consulting, asclients' needs have become more complex and specialized, widening the gap between HR needs and work force capabilities, and thus accentuating the ability of HR management consulting firms to fill...
and related financial services
Financial services refer to services provided by the finance industry. The finance industry encompasses a broad range of organizations that deal with the management of money. Among these organizations are credit unions, banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, consumer finance companies,...
consulting firm, headquartered in New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...
. The firm operates internationally in more than 40 countries, with more than 19,000 employees, and is the world's largest human resource consulting firm.
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 1945. In 1975, Mercer became a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. In 2002, its name was changed to Mercer Human Resource Consulting. In 2004, the company acquired Synhrgy HR Technologies. Recently in 2007, the company became simply "Mercer." 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
Richard A. "Dick" Grasso was chairman and chief executive of the New York Stock Exchange from 1995 to 2003, the culmination of a career that began in 1968 when Grasso was hired by the Exchange as a floor clerk...
. 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.
It has been ranked by Vault.com, Inc. as the #1 human resource consultancy for several years running, including most recently in 2011. Among all consulting firms, Mercer is currently ranked #6 for prestige.
Mercer's major competitors include Towers Watson
Towers Watson is a global consulting firm. Its principal lines of business are risk management and human resource consulting. It also has strong actuarial, investment consulting, and reinsurance brokerage practices. The Towers Watson corporate offices are in New York, New York.Towers Watson was...
, Buck Consultants
Buck Consultants is a global employee benefits and human resource consulting firm.Buck provides its services through integrated practices in communication, compensation, global technology and delivery solutions, health and productivity, retirement, and talent and HR solutions.Buck is an independent...
, Aon Hewitt, and Hay Group
Hay Group or The Hay Group is a global human resources management consulting firm headquartered in Philadelphia, with offices worldwide. It was founded in 1943 by Edward N. Hay. In 1984 the firm was purchased by Saatchi & Saatchi, but returned to private ownership in 1990 after a management...