Culture eats strategy for breakfast, or so the corporate aphorism goes. While Mercer has been investing significantly in strategy development and execution, it was organisational culture that was at the forefront of Ben Walsh’s mind when he was appointed managing director and pacific market leader of the health, wealth, and career consulting firm in April 2015.

As Ben puts it, “I’d already been heavily involved with my predecessor and the rest of the leadership team in developing our five-year business strategy, and the business was performing strongly. So, my first priorities were to recognise what we should continue doing, what we should change, and what we should stop—and, for me personally, what was the thing I was uniquely placed to do in the early days as the new MD.

“We began by discussing culture at the leadership team level, and questioning what activities and behaviours we expected from each other and as a team, and how this could cascade throughout the organisation. We spent time thinking about our clients and how they were looking for strategic partners. We spent time thinking about the individuals that utilise our services and products, and how the battlefield continues to migrate towards excellent customer experiences; and we reflected further on our need to grow through new partnerships, alliances, and acquisitions.”

With 15 years experience working across Mercer’s global network, Ben was an ideal candidate to head up the Pacific market.

His understanding of the totality of what Mercer can bring to the table for clients was borne out of numerous roles in four of the company’s five business lines, and included working in regional roles spanning Mercer’s 13 countries across Asia and the Pacific.