Mercer appoints veteran executives to newly created leadership roles

10 September 2018

As part of its global growth strategy, leading human resources consultancy Mercer has appointed two of its seasoned executives to the newly created positions of Group President and President, International. Martine Ferland will serve as Group President, while David Anderson will become President, International.

In her new role, Martine Ferland will drive the firm’s global profitable growth, reporting to Mercer President and CEO Julio Portalatin. In turn, Mercer’s US & Canada President, the International President, and the Global Line of Business Leaders will report to Ferland. She will continue to be based out of the firm's London office.

Ferland has been Mercer’s Europe and Pacific President, as well as its co-President of Global Health, since 2015. Before that she was the head of the firm’s Retirement Business for Europe & Pacific for four years. Before joining Mercer, Ferland was Director, Canada Retirement, at consultancy Towers Watson. Prior to that, she was Global Consulting Group Leader and Asia Retirement Business Leader at Towers Perrin.

Ferland brings more than 30 years of experience consulting, strategy, business development, and leadership to the new role of Group President. She has worked with numerous clients across global markets, with particularly emphasis on manufacturing, telco, financial services, and consumer goods. Ferland holds a BS in actuarial science from Laval University, and is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.Mercer appoints veteran executives to newly created leadership roles

“The world we operate in is changing at an ever increasing pace and we need to bring the best possible minds to bear on continuing to innovate and support our clients. Martine Ferland is a proven global leader who has dedicated her career to bringing value to companies across health, wealth, and career,” said Julio Portalatin, Mercer President and CEO. “Martine has extensive experience having led businesses in Canada, Europe, the Pacific, Asia and the US, and a track record of innovating to ensure we are consistently bringing the best solutions to market, making her ideally suited to this role.”

David Anderson has been with Mercer for two decades, joining the firm in Australia as Head of Service and Product Management Development in 1998. He has been Mercer’s President, Growth Markets Region since 2015, and will continue to be based in New York City as the firm’s President, International. In his new role, he will drive the growth of the firm in the 100 cities and 40 countries Mercer operates in outside of the US and Canada.

Anderson was previously Mercer’s CEO & Market Leader, Pacific, and Executive Director & Financial Services Business Leader, Asia Pacific. He has also served as Chairman, Australia, for Mercer’s parent company Marsh & McLennan.

Anderson started his career with AMP Financial Services in Australia, where he worked for over a decade, eventually reaching the level of Managing Principal, Consultancy Services.

Anderson has deep experience advising international organizations and foreign governments on investment and retirement savings issues, as well as long-standing expertise in the provision of life insurance, financial services, and professional services in Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.

“Our international footprint is incredibly important to our firm and clients, and in David Anderson we have a true international thinker,” commented Portalatin. “He has spearheaded our Growth Markets region for the past three years, driving significant profitable growth across the dynamic markets of Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, having previously led our Pacific business. We have every confidence in his continued ability to drive opportunity for the many companies who rely on Mercer.”

Anderson is a Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance, the Australian Institute of Management, and the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia.


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Real estate consultancy CBRE appoints Leah Stearns as chief financial officer

22 April 2019

CBRE, the world’s largest real estate services and investment firm, has appointed Leah Stearns as its new chief financial officer. Stearns was previously the CFO of the US division of American Tower, a major communications infrastructure firm. She will be based out of Dallas.

As CFO, Stearns will oversee CBRE’s global finance and accounting structure, including tax, treasury, financial planning, and investor relations. Stearns has nearly 20 years of experience in finance and investor relations.

She rapidly climbed the ranks at American Tower after joining the firm in 2001. Based in Boston, the Fortune 500 company – structured as a real estate trust – owns and operates over 170,000 wireless and broadcast communications sites in 16 countries. Real estate consultancy CBRE appoints Leah Stearns as chief financial officerOver her career at the firm, Stearns focused on investor relations, financial planning, and capital markets, rising from the position of manager, to director, to vice president, and then senior vice president. In 2017, she was appointed CEO of the EMEA region, and in November 2018 Stearns was appointed CFO of the US division. In her final role at American Tower, she oversaw the US business’ finance and accounting, mergers and acquisitions, and supply chain, as well as other areas. American Tower had over $6 billion in revenues in 2017, with 50% of its operating profit arising from the US division.

Stearns holds an MBA from Boston College, as well as a BS In finance from Boston University. She is a board member of the non-profit Brookline Community Mental Health Center.

“Leah will bring tremendous capabilities to CBRE,” Bob Sulentic, the company’s president and chief executive officer, said. “She is an exceptional executive who has risen rapidly in her career and has had significant responsibilities in financial management, operational leadership and international activities. Her background is well suited to help us drive our strategy.”

Stearn’s appointment, effective May 15, will see current CFO Jim Groch transition to the role of global group president and chief investment officer.  As chief investment officer, Groch will lead CBRE’s M&A activities and capital allocation into real estate investments.

Based in LA, CBRE had over $14 billion in revenues in 2017, and has approximately 480 offices and 90,000 employees worldwide.

Related: CBRE recognized among World's Most Ethical Companies for sixth year running