Voices of Mercuri Urval

Nicolas Alaerts
Transformation Head for Leadership Advisory, Belgium




At Mercuri Urval we understand that to solve even the most difficult challenges a company faces, leadership is always the lever that will turn a business strategy into reality.

If your challenge is to grow your business in an emerging market, or your market is disrupted by new entrants and you need to change strategy, or you need to integrate a newly acquired company in yours, we are here. We not only select the leaders who will perform, we help leaders bring strategy to life. To do this, we need a solid understanding of the capabilities the business strategy requires, how leaders benchmark against those capabilities, which capabilities we can develop and which we need to bring in from the outside.

We believe that organisations exist to reach results. The key to reaching those results is always people’s behaviour. And leaders impact that behaviour most. So, we focus on effective Leader behaviour to influence companies’ results, to model and shape the behaviour of the full organisation.

Organisations often look for solutions to strategic challenges in the hard wiring of the organisation (targets, structures, finance etc.,) while overlooking the soft wiring (leadership, culture, and behaviour). Just as a computer can effectively consolidate data and produce useful output only if the hardware and the software work together. It is the software however that makes the computer consolidate data effectively and produces meaningful output.

The question we are out to answer is which behavioural change will lead to increased results, maximise opportunities and optimise performance?

We build our insights at the crossroad of business and behaviour on >50 years of experience in leader selection and development, based on a science-based and data-driven predictive methodology. We predict and influence results through behaviour and get it right, time and time again, in an industry that is flawed and flooded with tools and methodologies that lack steering and predictive power. And by doing it right, we create tons of value for our clients.

The context in which leaders today operate has become increasingly complex with a high degree of ambiguity and a fast pace of change, where they need to lead virtually, where there are high demands on acting ethically and creating sustainable value. The work we do has thus become increasingly important and the fact that we get it right in >90% of cases shows where we can make a true difference. We are experts in ‘Predicting leader performance’ and ‘Unleashing leader potential’. Our Leadership Advisory experts work to ensure our clients have the best possible Leader Performance and Development solutions in place to strengthen their results. Therefore we offer Individual Leadership Assessment, Coaching and Organisation Development that better equips leaders to achieve the results their organisation requires.

Our mission stays to solve the problem of how to select and develop effective leadership. What methodology do we need to set in place to do so? By succeeding, which we do, we make our purpose come to life:

We make sure that companies have the sustainably effective leadership in place to get the results they want.

To further develop our Leadership Advisory solutions and add even more value to clients in the projects we run for them, it is essential to better understand what challenges those clients are facing today in an ever-changing market environment. We invest continuously in understanding our client’s challenges and build common understanding on what type of leadership is needed to turn these challenges into opportunities and increase results. We work hard to maintain our high-quality standards and will continue to do so in the years to come.


Andreas Frische
Partner & Head of Business Area, Germany




At Mercuri Urval, our workplace is an always connected, instant access environment that blurs the lines between the physical office and the place where work actually happens. We have physical presence in all major capitals and business hubs, open for all clients, candidates, and colleagues to connect, experience our company culture and create value together. Our employees can work from wherever, and whenever, at any location where the client needs us – at any office, the client’s site or from home.

To reflect this changing work experience, Mercuri Urval has for some years strategically focused on a new, modern working environment – the digital workplace. Today, we have all we need to successfully serve our clients and deliver assignments fully digitally. By integrating the technologies that we use (from e-mail, instant messaging and enterprise social media tools to applications and virtual meeting tools), the digital workplace breaks down communication barriers, positioning us to transform into a modern employee experience. A digital workplace for everyone and a modern and premium office infrastructure to meet and socialise with clients, candidates, and colleagues.

Our ultimate goal is to enable knowledge sharing across the organisation, and forge productive business relationships beyond natural work groups to successfully serve our clients.


Serena Scalzo
Delivery Lead, Denmark




Katleen Degreef
Engagement Manager, Belgium




The ‘Community of Practice’ at Mercuri Urval consists of over 60 delivery colleagues that have a strong focus on the delivery process. With a global presence spanning 17 countries and 3 continents, there is a strong diversity of talent with different professional and cultural backgrounds holding a wealth of valuable knowledge ready to be shared. The primary aim is to bring colleagues together, to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and to support individual development by providing relevant training and networking opportunities.

In order to better facilitate cross-border working, we carried out a survey and smaller group sessions to get to know the community personally and give us a comprehensive mapping of not only our community’s areas of expertise, but areas they would like to develop. This mapping will not only enable us to better connect resources within the business but also provide opportunities to delivery colleagues to develop their capabilities in areas where they have a specific interest. One of the key topics that came up in our discussions was strengthening our global search capabilities with many colleagues voicing their desire to be more involved in cross-border assignments, something that is high on our agenda now that we are moving into a more sector-based organisation. Another important area the community will be focusing on is innovation. Processes are always evolving and changing with new technological developments that support us in delivering efficient and high-quality work. AI is playing a big role in the way we conduct searches, and it only makes sense that we harness its power to strengthen our value- add to clients. Over the past year we have been piloting several tools that support us in delivering in our search tasks with more trials planned this year.

There are many ways our community can evolve, and we look forward to seeing how it develops over this next year. The enthusiasm shared so far leaves us optimistic that we are moving in the right direction and that our diverse and talented colleagues will only flourish in our collaboration.

If you would like to learn more about the work we are doing in the community, please reach out to Katleen and Serena at cop.delivery@mercuriurval.com. We look forward to hearing from you.


Steen Gravers
Partner & Sector Lead Life Science, Denmark




Our international Life Science sector organisation consists of both ex-industry professionals and leadership acquisitions professionals, effectively blending the respective expertise. We work with a global sector lead responsible for our general sector development as well as regional sector leads responsible for local consultant and client development activities. Key for us is to encourage an open and entrepreneurial culture where the sharing of knowledge is part of our every-day work. We strongly believe that this proximity to the market is one of the most important aspects of our organisation and that it gives us the competitive edge to quickly identify and approach the best candidates, as well as being able to work closely with our clients.

The Mercuri Urval Life Science sector organisation is, among other things, conceived to take advantage of a surge in demand for talented industry professionals, to drive the development of and bringing to market new pharmaceutical compounds and medical devices.

Our internal structure and global organisation are set up to mirror the full development life cycle, from the pre-clinical discovery phase or product development phase, through to the commercialisation of the drug or device. To date we count many of the leading pharmaceutical, biotechnology, biopharma, CROs and medical device companies as our partners, and we are continuously contributing with our specific sector expertise to the discovery, development and distribution of safe and effective therapeutics and medical equipment across the globe.


Geir Lislerud
Partner & Global Sector Lead Professional Services, Norway




There is nothing more exciting than working within the Professional Services sector. The potential is massive, and you are always navigating in a challenging client/candidate market.

The sector covers a wide range of areas like Management Consultancy, Private Equity, Accountancy, IT and more. The global Professional Services team at Mercuri Urval generated sales at €2.2m last year, working closely with clients to solve their most urgent need within Leadership Acquisition and Advisory. During 2020 some cases especially stood out; on top of a considerable number of prestigious Partner recruitments for the top brands, we designed, initiated, and facilitated the EY acquisition of Doberman, a consultancy in brand, design and digital strategy. The acquisition will strengthen the agency in customer experience design and innovation. And it’s not the first time Mercuri Urval has worked closely with EY. During 2019 and 2020 we built their EY Seren practice in Norway/Sweden and initiated the Doberman M&A process in December 2018. This shows that the work we do is not made in sprints, it’s a marathon.

Being able to provide a strong, global sector focus for our clients is increasing in importance. We are proud to be able to serve our clients’ needs with our expertise whenever and wherever needed.