Mercer ushers in a new era in Japan with key leadership appointments


The appointments reinforce the global consulting firm’s commitment to growth in Japan and highlight the strategic importance of Japan in the fast-growing Asia region.


Tokyo, Japan, September 1, 2020 – Mercer, a global leader in redefining the world of work, reshaping retirement and investment outcomes, and unlocking health and well-being, and a business of Marsh & McLennan (NYSE: MMC), today announced key leadership appointments in Japan, affirming its commitment to growth in Japan and confidence in the economy as businesses tackle the biggest challenge of their time. With effect from September 1, Yasushi Kusaka will take on the role of Japan CEO while Keiko Shimada will be appointed COO.


Ms Renée McGowan, CEO Asia for Mercer, said, “In the past 42 years, Mercer’s business in Japan has been on a remarkable journey, partnering with clients to create brighter futures for their companies and employees. While the COVID-19 pandemic has brought profound disruption to people and organizations, it’s also accelerated transformation and innovation at speeds never seen before.


As companies move beyond responding to the threat of the pandemic, what they do at this critical point is pivotal to shaping their future and the future of their employees and communities. With these strategic appointments, we will bolster our strength, expertise and capabilities in helping companies in Japan reimagine the new shape of work.”


With innovation and transformation on the top of companies’ agendas, Mercer has seen a rising demand for human resource transformation, innovative employee benefits and investment solutions to help them overcome the challenges of today and thrive in the future. “There is no better time than now to step up our efforts. Together with our clients, we can seize new opportunities for growth with the advancement in technologies and seismic shifts in the mindsets of leaders and employees,” Ms McGowan added.


Appointment of Yasushi Kusaka as Japan CEO

Mr Kusaka joins Mercer with nearly three decades of experience in the financial and consulting sectors and a strong track record of business transformation and growth acceleration. He was most recently the Chairman of Japanese fintech startup Robot Fund. Prior to this, Mr Kusaka served as Partner and Chief Operating Officer at Ernst & Young Tax in Japan where he oversaw corporate strategy, corporate culture transformation as well as business development. He was also the CEO for BNP Paribas Cardif (Non-life) in Japan.


Ms McGowan said, “Yasushi’s deep operational and commercial experience will help drive the next stage of growth of our successful Japanese business. He joins us at a time where organizations are emerging from a period of extraordinary challenges. I am confident that his strong leadership and extensive experience will strengthen our capabilities, further expand our solutions and build on our focus to help clients grow sustainably.”


As the Japan CEO, Mr Kusaka will work with the Japan and Asia leadership teams and draw on the global capabilities of Mercer to advance the firm’s position across Japan, maintaining Mercer’s unwavering commitment to putting its clients and colleagues first.


Mr Kusaka said, “Mercer has a longstanding reputation for creating innovative solutions that help clients meet the challenges of our time. This is a solid base on which to build and a critical time to be focused on helping clients and their employees face the challenges and seize opportunities to reimagine their future. I look forward to leading the team to deliver on innovation, exceptional client experiences and strengthening partnerships to create bolder and brighter futures for our clients.”


Appointment of Keiko Shimada as Japan COO

A pioneering member of Mercer Japan’s M&A team in 2002, Ms Shimada has made significant contributions to the growth of Mercer’s business in Japan. In her new role as COO, Ms Shimada will drive client growth and strategy to accelerate growth with a focus on Japanese MNCs and the expansion of Japanese client services. Working closely with Mr Kusaka, she will also realize appropriate business portfolio synergies, as well as develop management infrastructure for optimal operational efficiencies.


Ms McGowan said, “Keiko has been an incredible asset and is a highly valued member of the team. With her expertise and deep knowledge of the business as well as her proven success as a business and industry leader, I am confident that she will realize untapped opportunities.”

On her new role, Ms Shimada said, “I’m honored to be given this new opportunity to accelerate growth and make a meaningful difference for our clients. We’ve achieved great transformation in the years I’ve been with Mercer and I look forward to writing this new dynamic chapter of progress and growth with Mr Kusaka.”



About Mercer

Mercer believes in building brighter futures by redefining the world of work, reshaping retirement and investment outcomes, and unlocking real health and well-being. Mercer’s more than 25,000 employees are based in 44 countries and the firm operates in over 130 countries. Mercer is a business of Marsh & McLennan (NYSE: MMC), the world’s leading professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people, with 76,000 colleagues and annual revenue of $17 billion. Through its market-leading businesses including Marsh, Guy Carpenter and Oliver Wyman, Marsh & McLennan helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment. For more information, visit Follow Mercer on Twitter @Mercer.