Mercer expands Middle East footprint with Abu Dhabi office launch

24 October 2018 3 min. read

The world’s largest human capital consultancy Mercer has expanded its Middle East footprint with the launch of an office in Abu Dhabi.

Established in 1945 and acquired by Marsh & McLennan Companies in 1959 (the parent of management consulting stable-mates Oliver Wyman), Mercer has since grown to become the largest human capital consultancy in the world, with some 23,000 employees delivering advice to organisations on employee health, wealth and career benefits in 130 countries worldwide – including via a presence in the Middle East over the past ten or so years.

With existing bases in Dubai and Riyadh established in 2009 and 2010, Mercer has now extended its Middle East footprint with the launch of a fresh office in Abu Dhabi, following what the firm describes as a strong local demand from the public and private sectors driven by the key social and economic trends locally reshaping human resources and wealth management practices – with the UAE at the forefront of the national economic transformations sweeping the Gulf.

“Expanding our presence in the UAE allows us to extend services to our clients in the region, while having a dedicated local office in Abu Dhabi makes us directly accessible,’ said Mercer UAE CEO Mustafa Faizani. “We have seen a rise in demand for career and wealth services in the capital, following the launch of the stimulus package for Abu Dhabi by his H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed. We believe the initiative will promote the creation of new businesses making talent acquisition and wealth management top of mind in the region.”

Mercer expands Middle East footprint with Abu Dhabi office launch

Speaking previously, Faizani, who also serves the firm’s CEO for its India, Middle East, Turkey, and Africa (IMETA) region, noted how Mercer has adopted a localised approach in the Middle East. “We have touched 110 million lives globally and offer regional and hyper-local support to all of our markets. Especially within the Middle East, we have taken global intellectual capital and localised it to help our clients."

Faizani adds that specific health, wealth, and career issues for organisations in the Middle East include, among other challenges, managing rising labour costs, satisfying employer demand with respect to talent supply, and developing the skills capacity of local national employees. The UAE, like elsewhere in the GCC, is embarking on an official nationalisation programme locally termed as ‘Emiritisation’ – a policy which seeks to improve the meaningful employment rate and prospects of Emrati nationals.

In addition to its consulting and human resources arm, Mercer Investment Solutions, with over $225 billion in assets under delegated management, is the largest institutional multi-manager and investment adviser as well as the largest discretionary delegated solutions provider in the world. Recently, the firm joined with Swiss insurance giant Zurich to launch a workplace savings solution (MySavings) in the Middle East, which offers local employees a range of flexible and tailored investment options managed by Mercer.

In respect to the launch of the Abu Dhabi office, Mercer notes that, according to its own Global Talent Trends survey (one of its many renowned global surveys together with its annual quality of living and cost of living indexes), 78 percent of organisations in the Emirates are expecting a coming increase in competition for skilled talent. Its ongoing expansion in the Middle East, the firm says, will allow it to more proactively engage with the market and help organisations get ahead of shifts in the pursuit of attracting top talent.