Greetings from Mercer!


Goblin mode has been declared by popular vote to be Oxford English Dictionary's word of the year. It's the first-time popular vote has determined the word of the year. The other two finalists, chosen by Oxford Languages lexicographers, were metaverse and #IStandWith. Goblin mode won 93% of more than 300,000 votes.


Oxford English Dictionary defines goblin mode, a slang term, as “a type of behavior which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.” It captures “the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the past twelve months,” of people from all walks of life and the resulting trends in business, politics or personal choices and lives.


In 2022, we witnessed and experienced skyrocketing inflation, Geo-political issues involving China & US, massive Iranian protests against an authoritarian regime, the drama in the British Parliament followed by the Queen’s death, continued political turmoil in Pakistan, Brazil shifting left and the Sri Lankan economic crisis. In the meantime, the World population crossed the 8 Bn mark. Businesses and HR leaders were faced with continued talent related challenges and still new ones emerged - Moonlighting, Quiet Quitting!


Just days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, German chancellor Olaf Scholz proclaimed the moment to be a Zeitenwende, which literally means "an epochal tectonic shift".


Right through 2022, we were challenged and stretched in all possible directions, but human spirit and resilience prevailed!


Businesses transformed and charismatic leaders emerged. People gained new skills and chose new career paths. Messi lived his World Cup dream. World leaders signed up to historic provisions in COP27. Elon Musk took over Twitter. Apple became the first company to reach a stock market value of $3 trillion. The list of endangered species continued to grow at an alarming rate, but some creatures bounced back from the brink in 2022. Panama became the latest country to introduce a rights of nature law, joining the likes of Ecuador, Mexico, and New Zealand. There were breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s and Cancer research. There was progress on female representation. Victoria’s Secret featured a model with Down syndrome. The 4-day week went mainstream and ‘perfecting’ hybrid work continued to demand our attention and efforts.


I welcome you to 2023, with hope and anticipation.


Together, we have weathered a few storms. I have no doubt in my mind that we will emerge stronger. I take this opportunity to thank our clients, colleagues and partners for their steadfast support and look forward to meeting several of you during the year.


Best wishes for a healthy and successful year.


Arvind Usretay
Commercial Leader – India & South Asia, Mercer 

Compensation planning opportunity to reward, recognize, and strengthen trust with employees


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Talent assessment



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Top considerations for insurers in 2023


As 2022 comes to a close, insurance companies are facing significant price losses across their portfolios, particularly within long-duration fixed income. Listen on apple podcasts.