Martine Ferland named incoming president and CEO of Mercer

24 January 2019

NYC-based Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC) – whose subsidiaries include strategy consultancy Oliver Wyman and HR consultancy Mercer – has announced a new president and CEO for Mercer Martine Ferland, previously Mercer’s group president, will take on the role effective March 1. Meanwhile, outgoing President and CEO Julio Portalatin will become a vice chairman of MMC.

The leadership change arrive as a result of the group’s efforts to "further its growth strategy," according to a release from Marsh & McLennan.

Incoming Mercer president and CEO Martine Ferland is currently group president of the leading health, wealth, and career consultancy. In her current role, she is responsible for leading Mercer’s Regions and Global Business Solutions, driving collaboration, and profitable growth. She ascended to the newly created position in September

Previously, Ferland was Mercer’s Europe and Pacific president, as well as its co-president of Global Health, for three-and-a-half years. She joined the firm in 2011 as the head of its retirement business for Europe and the Pacific. Before joining Mercer, Ferland spent nearly 10 years at rival firm Willis Tower Watson. She served as director of Canada retirement at consultancy Towers Watson, and was global consultancy group leader and Asia retirement business leader at Towers Perrin.

Martine Ferland named incoming President and CEO of Mercer

“Martine Ferland is a proven global leader who has dedicated her career to bringing value to companies across health, wealth, and career. Martine has extensive experience having led businesses in Canada, Europe, the Pacific, Asia and the US, and a track record of innovating," Portalatin said. 

Ferland will report to MMC president and CEO Dan Glaser, and will join MMC’s Executive Committee.

“Martine is a talented executive who possesses broad global experience and a proven record of success,” Glaser said. “Her deep understanding of our business and clients, and more than 30 years of experience across the health, wealth, and career spectrum, has uniquely prepared her for the challenge.”

Portalatin, who served as Mercer's president and CEO for seven years, in his new role as vice chairman at MMC, he will continue to report to Dan Glaser. Glaser congratulated Portalatin on a strong performance at the helm of Mercer.

“Julio energized Mercer colleagues and brought our mission and values to life through the work we do. He oversaw a major repositioning of the business that resulted in Mercer’s operating income nearly doubling and assets under delegated management increasing fivefold," he said.

“Julio’s legacy with Mercer is one of focused execution, impressive financial performance, and colleague development. I’m pleased the company will continue to benefit from his advice and counsel," he added.

Mercer has more than 23,000 employees and revenue in excess of $4 billion. The HR consultancy has more than 170 offices worldwide , including 67 in the US and 12 in Canada. Parent company Marsh & McLennan has 65,000 global employees and annual revenue in excess of $14 billion.

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