Mercer debuts HRTech Incubator in partnership with WeWork Labs

23 November 2018

HR consultancy Mercer has announced the creation of its HRTech Incubator Program in collaboration with WeWork Labs, the accelerator-type service of shared workspace giant WeWork. The incubator will focus exclusively on future of work technology startups.

With human resources technology evolving at a rapid pace, Mercer is injecting itself into the fray with an industry-specific incubator which leverages the firm’s expansive network, thought leadership, and client base. The initiative is being launched in partnership with WeWork Labs, which provides early stage startups with places to work and learn through a monthly rent-based model.

The Mercer HRTech Incubator’s inaugural class includes: Vetty, a blockchain and AI-powered platform for employee vetting; Learnerbly, a SaaS solution for enterprise learning programs; and Retirety, a platform offering education resources on employee benefits.

Mercer will help participants initially refine their offering, ensuring the value proposition actually resonates with potential clients. Advisors will also help the startups develop product concepts and identify future market needs.Mercer debuts HRTech Incubator in partnership with WeWork Labs“The incubator program represents a significant commitment as we continue to unite people and technology, while harnessing the value of digital technologies such as blockchain and AI,” said Gail Evans, Mercer’s Global Chief Digital Officer. “We have a heritage of being collaborative and for looking at new avenues and opportunities to empower and assist our clients, and this incubator enables Mercer and our clients to co-create new and exciting value propositions.”

Alongside structured access to Mercer clients interested in new HR solutions, the incubator program will also provide opportunities for future investment participation. Crucially, startups will receive the mentorship and insights of Mercer’s 20,000+ team of health, wealth, and career experts.

“Given Mercer’s stellar reputation in the human resources space, we knew we would be an ideal match for their incubator program,” commented Learnerbly Founder and CEO Rajeeb Dey. “We are particularly enthused about Mercer’s advanced insights into the future of work – which speaks directly to the themes that we are addressing at Learnerbly.”

Vetty’s Head of Growth Brad Heber added, “What was really interesting to us about Mercer was not only their impressive subject matter expertise, but their reach into an amazing set of customers who can offer us insights we won’t find anywhere else.”

The mutually beneficial collaboration environment will get Mercer on the ground floor of hot new technologies – and potentially bring those advanced solutions to clients, while at the same time giving promising startups a better shot at success.

“Clients rely on Mercer to help create and maintain a thriving workforce and as their needs evolve, they want to be regularly exposed to new ways of thinking and to new tools and services,” said Barb Marder, Global Innovation Leader for Mercer. “The Mercer Incubator will create an environment to deliver new solutions that will help organizations thrive in the digital age and be forward-looking.”


More news on


Leadership advisor YSC Consulting appoints Eric Pliner as CEO

18 April 2019

London-based global leadership consultancy YSC has appointed Eric Pliner as its new CEO, replacing Robert Sharrock, who held the role for five years. Pliner, previously the firm’s Americas leader, will remain based in New York City.

For 30 years, YSC Consulting has been providing leadership advisory services to clients across a wide range of industries. The firm provides services in the areas of leadership strategy, performance, research, and analytics. YSC also has offerings in organizational leadership and CEO & board advisory. The firm’s approach is grounded in the behavioral sciences, allowing clients to better align business strategy and leadership.

In 2017, Graphite Capital complete a private equity investment in the firm, which has allowed YSC to continue its rapid expansion across the globe. Today, the firm has 19 offices across the Americas, EMEA, and APAC regions, staffed by 225 professionals with backgrounds in clinical psychology and organizational behavior, among other areas.

YSC’s incumbent CEO, Robert Sharrock, will now move into the roles of managing director of YSC’s board and CEO of the advisory practice. Sharrock had previously indicated that he would move into a client-facing role following one year of results after the private equity infusion.Leadership advisor YSC Consulting appoints Eric Pliner as CEO


 “Having achieved the goals we established as a business during my tenure, I look forward to fully devoting my time to the client service areas of the business I find most rewarding, which is working directly with board members and CEOs,” Sharrock said. “I will also be offering my unreserved support to Eric and our global team as we continue to expand our distinctive business around the world.”

Eric Pliner, who has been with the firm since 2010, will step into the role of CEO. An expert in organizational behavior, talent management, and development, Pliner joined the firm as a senior consultant, working his way up to managing director and head of YSC Americas in 2014.

Prior to joining YSC, Pliner was director of organizational talent management & development at the NYC Department of Education, and was an adjunct instructor in the curriculum & teaching department at Hunter College in New York. He holds an MBA in management, organizational behavior, and human resources from the City University of New York – Baruch College.

“Robert has successfully led the business through five years of sustained growth and shaped the brand into a premier global leadership consultancy,” Pliner said. “I am thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to lead this iconic firm as we continue to serve world-class organisations in understanding and developing the critical leadership to achieve their future business strategies.

“Whether through individual executive assessment, pre-deal due diligence and post-deal integration for private equity transactions, design and execution of inclusive leadership and diversity strategy, coaching for senior executives and teams, resilient change leadership, and more, YSC’s global services are and will remain distinctive, characterful, and best-in-class,” he added.

Related: Ohio-based consultancy Change 4 Growth launches UK office