12 october 2009 l.
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12 October 2009. Commercial awareness . Peter Goode. Introduction Schedule. Mercer Who are we? Commercial awareness What is it? Why do we need it? How do you demonstrate it? How do you improve it? How is it tested? Summary. Mercer – who are we?.

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Commercial awareness

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Presentation Transcript
introduction schedule
  • Mercer
    • Who are we?
  • Commercial awareness
    • What is it?
    • Why do we need it?
    • How do you demonstrate it?
    • How do you improve it?
    • How is it tested?
  • Summary
mercer who are we
Mercer – who are we?
  • Mercer is a leading global provider of consulting, outsourcing and investment services, with more than 25,000 clients worldwide.
  • Founded in 1937 as employee benefits department of MMC, headquarters in New York, wholly owned by MMC
  • Globally:
    • Annual revenues over $3 billion
    • 18,000+ employees
    • Locations in 40+ countries
  • UK:
    • 19% of global revenues
    • 3,000+ employees
    • 17 locations

Guy Carpenter & Co.



Oliver Wyman Group


Major global provider of consulting, outsourcing and investmentservices

World's leading risk and reinsurance specialist

World's leading risk and insurance services firm

World's leading risk consulting company

Specialised management consulting businesses

Mercer – who are we? MMC Structure

business areas
Business Areas
  • Retirement, risk & financial consulting
  • Investment consulting
  • Outsourcing
  • Human capital
  • Health & benefits
  • Communication
  • Investment management
  • Mergers & acquisitions

Work alone or in combination to offer services to our clients

our uk offices
Our UK Offices
  • Offices in Blue are the offices we recruit grads and interns into


















commercial awareness what is it
Commercial awarenessWhat is it?

"At heart, commercial awareness is about being able to talk to clients, finding out what they want, why they want it, what they will do with it and what they are prepared to pay, and then delivering it in the way they want.

To do that you need to understand how organisations work, the issues they face and the role of people within them.“

Christopher Stoakes

'All You Need to Know About Commercial Awareness'

commercial awareness what is it11
Commercial awarenessWhat is it?
  • General business awareness
  • Organisation/sector specific knowledge
test your knowledge general business awareness
Test your knowledgeGeneral business awareness

In groups discuss the answer to these questions

  • Do you know where the phrase "the bottom line" comes from and what it means?
  • What is the role of the International Monetary Fund?
  • Why is Corporate Social Responsibility important to organisations?
  • What is the name of the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer?
  • What does private equity mean?
test your knowledge answers
Test your knowledgeAnswers

1) The term ‘bottom line’ comes from the fact it is found at the bottom of the balance sheet and refers to a companies net income

2) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 186 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world. (http://www.imf.org/external/index.htm)

3) Many reasons here are a few:

  • Brand differentiation
  • Risk management
  • Public relations
  • Recruitment and retention

4) Alastair Darling

5) Shares in unquoted companies. Usually high risk, high return in nature.

commercial awareness organisation sector specific knowledge
Commercial awareness – organisation/sector specific knowledge
  • How does the business attract and keep customers?
  • How has the business responded to globalisation?
  • How can good relationships be maintained with customers, employees and suppliers?
  • What impact is the state of the economy likely to have on business decisions?
  • What impact might the political environment have on a business?
commercial awareness why is it important
Commercial awarenessWhy is it important

Commercially aware individuals…

  • …appreciate the processes, relationships, risks and costs involved in commercial transactions and are able to assess whether value for money has been achieved.
  • …work towards the company’s objectives and strategy.
  • …are aware of all the company’s stakeholders.
  • You don’t have to be applying for a career in commerce to need commercial awareness skills.
commercial awareness how do you improve it
Commercial awarenessHow do you improve it?
  • Keep up to date with current business issues
    • Newspapers, magazines, internet and television (e.g. Financial times, BBC’s working lunch)
  • Professional bodies/associations websites generally provide information on industry trends, recent research and a range of related information. (e.g. www.actuaries.org.uk/)
  • Company/organisation websites provide more specific information about the organisation and its products/services. (e.g. www.mercer.com)
commercial awareness how do you improve it17
Commercial awarenessHow do you improve it?
  • When thinking about a specific organisation the SWOT analysis technique is useful.
  • This a technique used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a business.

Other useful techniques

  • Porters 5 forces
commercial awareness how does mercer test it
Commercial awarenessHow does Mercer test it?
  • Online application
  • Telephone interview questions
  • Assessment centre interview questions
  • Group case study
  • Written case study
commercial awareness summary
Commercial awarenessSummary
  • Graduates who are commercially aware are highly prized
  • You may well already possess commercial awareness skills and these can be developed further.
  • Do your research!

Mercer Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority

Registered in England No. 984275 Registered Office: 1 Tower Place West, Tower Place, London EC3R 5BU