Mercer Asia HR RoundTable 2014 - Shanghai, October, 2014

2014 Asia HR RoundTable

Shanghai, 21–22 October, 2014




Curt CuiSenior Associate Director, Employee Health and Benefits, China, Mercer

Patrick GongSenior Consultant, Information Solutions, China, Mercer

08:30–09:00Light Breakfast and Networking


Alan ZhangPartner and Managing Director, China, Mercer

09:05–09:50Opening Presentation: Global Human Capital Trends — Mercer's Perspective

The presentation will examine human capital trends impacting employers today and how those trends will play out in this region. We will examine the key theme in this roundtable: how HR is moving away from being transactional and administrative to becoming a high-impact, innovative, and action-driven team that operates to drive business performance.

Kim AbildgaardGlobal Information Solutions Leader, Mercer

09:50–10:50Keynote Presentation: Macro-economic Overview

Raphael LamResident Representative China, International Monetary Fund

10:50–11:15Coffee Break and Networking

11:15–12:00Inside the Minds of CEOs and CHROs
A Lively Debate on What Keeps Them Awake at Night, Focusing on Innovative HR and Business Performance


Kim AbildgaardGlobal Information Solutions Leader, Mercer


Lennard YongCEO, Metlife Hong Kong

Yong YanAsia Talent and China HR Director, IPSEN China


13:15–14:15Driving Leadership, Learning and Talent Development
Facilitated Small-Group Roundtable Discussions Examining the Most Destructive and Constructive Changes Impacting HR Today

Roundtable Discussions will be facilitated. Participants will be given a choice of at least eight current hot topics to choose from.

14:15–15:00Workshop A: Aging Population Growth and Delayed Retirement in Asia — Retirement Financial Planning in the Region

In this session Deborah and Alan will outline the challenges ageing populations may cause to Asia productivity and how some of the likely scenarios will play out. These trends will have a significant influence on employers who will have a pivotal role to play in managing workforces and capitalising on the trends. We will showcase some of the more creative and innovative investment and communication solutions that are being used by workplace savings arrangements around the world and discuss how these may evolve in Asia.

Alan OatesDirector and Head of Retirement, Greater China, Mercer

Deborah BannonLeader, Investments, North Asia (Ex-Japan), Mercer

14:15–15:00Workshop B: Workforce Benefits Trends in Developing Markets

The presentation provides some basic pointers to HR — especially HR in companies entering developing markets — on the usual benefits coverage, as well as things to keep in mind when information is scarce and, perhaps, contradictory. We will examine possible benefits trends using market information from ASEAN — discussing Myanmar and Cambodia Mercer surveys in particular.

Harrison TanBenefits Product Manager, Information Solutions Asia, Mercer


15:30–16:15Maintaining a Competitive Advantage with Data-driven Decisions — Google's Compensation Story

Learn how data influenced Google's compensation decisions. By augmenting traditional survey information, employee engagement data, and focus groups with advanced techniques and leading-edge thinking, Google has made unique compensation program changes. Some of these changes include shifting equity programs from primarily options to restricted stock as the employee base has grown, using variable vesting and offering choice to facilitate employee equity monetization, aligning base philosophy with organization growth, and developing compensation-specific analytic tools and process for employee engagement.

Ajit NambiarLeader, International Compensation, Google

16:15–17:00Compensation and Benefit Trends in Asia Pacific — Using Data to Make the Employee Value Proposition More Meaningful

In this session, we will share updated labor market trends across APAC covering hiring intentions, attrition rates, and salary increases, as well as forecasts for 2015, functional premiums, and the most expensive cities across the region, to name a few. This session will also provide participants with key legislative changes, including minimum wages, as well as some of the other innovative benefits being used by companies to differentiate their employee value proposition.

Puneet SwaniRegional Information Solutions Leader and Rewards Practice Leader – Asia, Turkey, Middle East, and Africa, Mercer

17:00Day One Ends


08:30–09:00Light Breakfast and Networking


Curt CuiSenior Associate Director, Employee Health and Benefits, China, Mercer

Patrick GongSenior Consultant, Information Solutions, China, Mercer

09:15–10:15Employee Engagement, Retention, and Rewards
Same Game, Different Rules? How Multinationals and Large Local Companies Participate in the Same War for Talent


Alan ZhangPartner and Managing Director, China, Mercer


Angela ZhangHR Director, American Express China

Richard BellAPAC Head of Reward, UBS

Maggie WeiCorporate Rewards Head and HR Director, WeChat Business Group, Tencent

Hellen ChenGlobal Compensation and Benefits Center of Excellence Expert, Huawei Technologies

10:15–10:45Coffee Break and Networking

10:45–11:30The Story of China in Africa

Global economic activities have had a profound effect on the African market, and the continent is on the cusp of major development after significant investment in the oil and gas sector. What makes this market different from the other markets, and is there actually a difference? This session will cover insights from across Africa, with focus on the latest trends in the labour market and in compensation and benefits in this region. Most importantly we will share with attendees the context and experience gained from operating in the continent, with a focus on the specific conditions of the region's talent sphere.

Anne-Magriet SchoemanCountry Leader, South Africa, Mercer

11:30–12:15Getting the Very Best Deal for Your Employee Benefits Program

With increasing cost pressure on benefit programs, HR professionals are increasingly challenged to contain the cost of their benefit programs. However, the traditional broking approach is no longer delivering the necessary results. Unless you address the underlying cost driver of your benefits program, you can continue to expect this upward trend. But can you convince your Finance partners to spend more for benefits?

Gary TokAsia Growth Markets Sales Leader, Employee Health and Benefits, Mercer Marsh Benefits


13:15–14:00Workshop C: Using Social Media to Strengthen Employer Branding

We now have four generations in the workforce, so new skills and different employee mindsets are increasingly required as companies move into new markets. Organizations need to strengthen their employee brand to attract and retain talent. Job seekers are now doing their homework, so they know more about your organization than you do! Companies therefore need to take an active role managing their brand. In this workshop, you will learn how social media is helping leading organizations build more appealing brands.

Dion GroenewegHR Transformation and Workforce Analytics and Planning Leader, Asia, Middle East, Africa and LATAM, Mercer

13:15–14:00Workshop D: Strategic Talent Management with Mercer's Talent Game

Talent is a critical source of competitive advantage, yet making effective people decisions is a challenge for organizations across the region. In this session, we will provide a preview of Mercer's Strategic Talent Management workshop, which focuses on using decision science to support sound talent choices that align with business goals and leverage the competitive advantage of a company's talent assets. Participants in this session will have an opportunity to play Mercer's Talent Game, an innovative way to help managers at all levels make better talent decisions. Teams begin with the same fictional executives, available talent interventions, and budgets, and then team decisions, unforeseen variables, and risks result in different outcomes. Team members work together to make decisions, such as which investments have the biggest pay-off and whether to build or buy talent. In the Strategic Talent Management workshop, learnings from the Talent Game are applied to help line managers better understand the consequences of talent decisions and tools are provided to help them develop a culture in which talent is managed with the same rigor as other critical business assets.

Jackson KamPrincipal, Talent, Mercer

Joana SilvaLeadership Products Director, Growth Markets, Mercer

14:00–14:45Workshop E: People Analytics — Using the Right Data, Metrics, and Analysis to Solve Your People Challenges

People Analytics increasingly has a role to play in structuring an effective benefits program. HR is under growing pressure from the business to maintain benefit program costs, but it faces an uphill battle in controlling program costs while simultaneously managing employee engagement and satisfaction with the benefits program.

HR professionals must begin leveraging their organization's own data on its employee profile, risks, and challenges, and correlate the data sets to prepare targeted solutions and, ultimately, an action plan.

To be effective you need to use the right data, metrics, and analysis in order to solve the majority of your organization's people challenges.

Rose KwanBusiness Leader, Health & Benefits, ASEAN, Mercer

14:00–14:45Workshop F: Alternatives to the Traditional Long-term Assignments: Trends in International Mobility in the APAC Region (With Case Study)

While Traditional long-term postings remain popular, more and more firms now rely on different types of assignments, and complement long-term postings with shorter-term projects. In Asia, alternatives to traditional long-term assignments are required for many reasons: family and dual-career issues, language and cultural differences, local network and connections, etc. In this session, we focus on these alternatives and look closely at short-term postings, commuter assignments, extend business travel, etc. We cover trends and best practices in managing short-term assignments, addressing common challenges of using short-term assignments. We will share case studies demonstrating both intra-regional and Chinese domestic mobility perspectives.

Julia RadchenkoGlobal Mobility Consultant, ASEAN, Mercer

Michelle DuGlobal Mobility Business Leader, Greater China, Mercer

14:45–15:15Coffee Break and Networking

15:15–16:00Technology Driving Today’s HR Transformation

Today, many HR professionals face aging HR systems functionality, inability to support their global enterprise, disparate talent management applications, and tired talent acquisition tools. Emerging new technologies are transforming the way HR functions need to operate now and in the future. During this session we will discuss how HR is starting to adapt hot trends such as cloud, mobile, social, big data, and gamification and how these are driving transformation in HR.

Dion GroenewegHR Transformation and Workforce Analytics and Planning Leader, Asia, Middle East, Africa and LATAM, Mercer

16:00–16:30Closing Speech

Kim AbildgaardGlobal Information Solutions Leader, Mercer

16:30Conference Ends

PLEASE NOTE: The primary language of the Conference is English. All plenary sessions will be presented in English. PowerPoint material for all plenary and breakout sessions will also be in English. Simultaneous Translation to Chinese will be available in all sessions.

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For information about the event, please contact Carrie Tan:

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