Voices of Mercuri Urval

I’m a living example of how you can have a life-long career at MU. I have held the role of Consultant, Team Leader, and then MD for 4 countries. When I returned the final time, I knew that I didn’t want to be an operational leader, but still contribute to the company’s success. And in 2021 I became a Partner, which is so exciting. This company is generous in believing in the potential of people. – Svein Olsen Mellemsæter, Partner & Director, MU Norway

Bringing our Employee Value Proposition to life in everyday work life

As a foundation-owned, Nordic firm with a science-based solution to clients’ needs in the Executive Search and Leadership Advisory Industry, MU offers an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) as unique as our client offering. We are the evident option to the conventional Executive Search industry also for our employees. We are the home of MU Leader Selection Science®. In our efforts to bring our EVP to life for every colleague, our survey data clearly shows that the primary reason for our colleagues to stay with us is the freedom to develop clients and themselves with minimum restrictions, in a kind and collaborative environment anywhere in the world, with a broad range of services. Some of our colleagues’ stories serve as good examples of this:

Katleen Degreef
Engagement Manager, MU Belgium

“I joined MU from a competitor as a Senior Consultant many years ago. I loved the work I did with our clients. However, I realised that the work with acquiring new clients did not motivate me as much as before. However I still felt a great passion for delivering high-quality services to our clients. It also fitted my life situation much better as a parent of young children to have a more stable working week. I, therefore, decided to do an internal role change to Engagement Manager, where my primary focus was to deliver high-quality services to clients together with the consultant and our Executive Researchers.

After a while, I was asked to help in building up the next generation international delivery community, which gave me a new exciting challenge in connecting delivery colleagues from more than 20 countries into one joint force. The highlight of 2022 was our global delivery conference in Barcelona, where we all finally got together and met in real life.

Today, besides being a trusted Engagement Manager for our clients, I am also the Delivery Team Leader for Belgium, where I lead a team of delivery experts.”

Isabella Valentini
Director, MU Denmark

– “As a Director in the MU International Business team, I get my motivation from building cross-border partnerships with clients, candidates and colleagues.

I am born in Italy, spent years in China and Germany and am currently based in Denmark. Therefore, working with global organisations and their people on Executive Search and Leadership Advisory in different countries is a natural match for me.

In my daily activities, I combine client work together with the development of the MU organisation. During 2022 I have been working on our International Business strategy, supporting our team in China, which I have been part of in the first years of my MU career, and being a trainer in the Large Account Management programme we developed for MU colleagues. I look forward to continuing these initiatives in the year ahead and adding more layers to that, as we constantly develop to meet client’s needs by providing reliable leadership advice.”

Nicklas Jungander
Partner, MU Sweden

– “I am a Partner at MU and have been with the company for over 10 years. What I will particularly bring with me from 2022, is the increase in international projects I did with clients and colleagues. After the pandemic, as we got even more used to connecting across borders digitally, my clients as well as my colleagues started to work in a different, and more collaborative way. This has given me a lot of energy and inspiration, as I make more new relationships than ever.

As the Account Manager for some of MU’s largest clients that operate worldwide, I have built client-centric teams of consultants and delivery colleagues from most of our geographies, with expertise in my client’s sectors. It has never been more natural to work in this way. And frankly, it is more interesting and valuable for me as well. And it really brings more value to our clients, as they are always connected with the best experts we have, no matter where they happen to live.”

Hanne de Linde
Head of Inclusion and Diversity, MU Headquarters

– “This year, I took on the task of articulating MU’s updated approach to Inclusion and Diversity. As the newly appointed Head of Inclusion and Diversity, I took on a new challenge in my career. It is exciting because I have a dual role in MU. As a Partner and Consultant for over 20 years, I help clients with Leadership Development, but as a part of our Headquarters team, I am developing the company as well. I have built up our internal ICF-approved Coaching training, I have been the Head of L&D for MU and I am working with our CEO on internal leader development.

For me combining Group HR development work with client work is a positive spiral that feeds each other. And now to be able to ramp up our efforts on one of the most pressing issues for any company, I&D is truly exciting.”

Strengthening MU Global Leadership through new and old colleagues

Investing and developing in leadership was one of the priorities on the people's agenda for 2022. We launched the MU Leadership Development Programme for our own leaders, and it is evident that a new breed of leadership is emerging in MU, which is also evident from our Employee Engagement Survey results. 

Rachit Sharma
Principal Consultant, MU UK

– “2022 was a fantastic year with an endless number of challenges I tackled. My main motivator is to help my clients to perform better and to outperform their competition. I thrive in engaging with clients and candidates to enable the best match for the business. After having worked in the industry for many years in MU India, I relocated to London to continue to serve old and new clients.

For me, it is important that I work in a company that enables me to find my next S-curve in development, even if it means relocating to another part of the world. With my strong sector expertise and well-established network, I am excited to see how well my old and new clients have supported me in the transition. In today’s world, the world itself has become smaller than ever, and I very much look forward to 2023.”

Additionally, we have strengthened our leadership capabilities through signature hires from our competition

Thorsten Kocherscheidt
Team Director, MU Germany

Thorsten joined MU in the fall of 2022 after a successful career as a top performer in the industry. Prior to that, he held multiple executive positions in the Financial Services sector. In MU he has taken the leadership of our Frankfurt main office and strengthened our global Financial Service Practice:

– “I was attracted by the great opportunity to build something new in Frankfurt: a strong team focused on their specialised practices – predominantly financial & professional services and digital & transformation – and completely interlinked with the LAD side, as a holistic proposition towards clients. Moreover, the MU DNA and culture is refreshing and different to most of the industry, given by the foundation-backed ownership and the Swedish roots. For me, the way we run the business, and the way we treat each other fairly and kindly, makes for a healthier and much more interesting work environment to drive for business results. Sure, we compete fiercely, but on the market – not with each other.”

Suhail Kazmi
Team Director, MU India

Suhail joined MU in 2022 to further strengthen the business in India and APAC, making great use of his prior network and experience. Suhail joined MU after a three-decade-long career, including six years in Consumer Goods, sixteen years in Banking and most recently, eight years in Executive Search. In his role as Team Director, his main responsibilities are centred around four key areas.

One key differentiator he’s very excited about is MU’s ability to work seamlessly across the globe:

– “I am seeing great progress in terms of collaboration. Right now, I am working on two international ES projects, working with clients and colleagues ranging from Germany and the UK to Singapore and India. This is a key MU promise. And one which actually works!

My greatest insight after one year at MU – which has helped me both professionally and personally – is the ‘art’ of becoming ‘scientific’ in my approach to work and life. Be factual, use data and analytics, follow a process, DO NOT commit the three sins of ‘S’ viz. Shortcutting, Subjectivity, Stereotyping! This has been my great learning which I am paying forward to my friends, family and colleagues.”

Matt Hill
Team Director, MU Singapore

After a long recruitment career of building and growing businesses in both Europe and Asia, Matt joined MU last year to help grow the business in Singapore and across APAC:

– “The focus is certainly on aligning our Singapore and APAC business with the key strategic group objectives, and importantly making MU a place where the best recruiters in Singapore are knocking on our door to come and work for us! I think driving our employee proposition is a key part of how we achieve the growth we want to achieve.

It is nice to not be the oldest, most experienced guy in the room anymore. I have come into a business with very credible and smart people who look at client services in a very different way, compared to the many other recruitment firms there are competing for business. Whether it be a coach, leadership assessment expert, executive search consultant, or advisory expert, we can genuinely have conversations
with leaders and organisations about what is keeping them awake at night and what are their leadership priorities. Historically, I was only able to talk about when they were next likely to hire someone! My conversations with leaders now are not only more dynamic and actually relevant but are far more interesting for me!”

Darcie Murray
Team Director, MU US

Darcie joined MU after more than a decade as a leader in the industry. Since taking over the responsibility for MU in the Americas, one of Darcie’s main priorities has been to expand the team with industry experts, a crucial part of the long-term strategy. Two highly experienced colleagues brought in over the past year whose expertise certainly will help the team reach new heights.

In order to succeed in such a highly competitive and segmented market as the US, you need to be able to stand out from the competition. Darcie believes that, in addition to cross-border selling, the strength of MU is where the opportunities lie:

– “We have a strong, reputable, quality business, with compelling differentiating factors in our MU Leader Selection Science®, our culture and history, our repeat business ratio, and our retention rate. This provides us with the tools and framework to replicate what we have done so successfully in Europe, and in the US. As we go into 2023, we are even more focused on pinpointing where the opportunities are and showing that we are quality individuals that do quality work.”

Twelve months after joining MU, Darcie is now standing with a bigger and better team than ever, ready to continue to invest in growth, infrastructure and building revenue in 2023.