Event Agenda


08:30–09:00Registration and Refreshments

09:00–09:10Conference Welcome

Godelieve van DoorenMercer

09:10–09:25Opening Remarks

Puneet SwaniMercer

09:25–10:10Keynote Speech: How to Support and Build a Culture of Innovation: Can HR Be the New Enabler?

The best chance any business has of surviving and growing is to continuously innovate and differentiate itself, not just through new product or service development but through how it manages people and creates enabling processes that make innovation systemic and sustainable. To create a truly innovative culture you can't just enthuse people. It needs supporting processes and an environment that makes innovation part of the day job, not just the domain of a select few. Otherwise, the result can be negative behaviors or, at best, pockets of positive energy frustrated by a system that sees innovation as an activity for the product development department. Can HR and Organizational Development be the new enablers of innovation? This presentation addresses the rising trend in the next frontier of innovation — the domain of management — and the pivotal role HR needs to play in order for organizations to succeed in the future.

Natalie TurnerFounder and CEO of The Entheo Network

10:10–10:25Fast Focus: Talent Trends in Asia

The 2016 Mercer Global Talent Trends Study examines how the changing landscape affects today’s workforce and how organizations in Asia are responding. We asked employers and employees what really matters in the workplace, what skills are in demand and how they are building their capabilities — individually and organizationally — to take on future challenges.

Kulshaan SinghMercer

10:25–11:10Panel Discussion: The Changing Role of HR

The panel will discuss and acknowledge the changing nature of global businesses and, consequently, the demands from HR — moving from operational management to stewards of talent. Sharing examples and innovative practices, the panel will provide different perspectives and discuss the role of HR in the future. Key topics of discussion will include:

  • Changing nature of the workforce
  • Expectations from HR
  • Evolution of HR structures and operative model
  • Critical skills in tomorrow's HR professional
  • What organizations should be doing to prepare for the future

Shai GanuMercer


Ho Seng CheeHead, Group Human Resources, CapitaLand Limited

Aileen TanGroup Chief Human Resources Officer, SingTel

James WongDeputy Secretary, Policy. Public Service Division: Prime Minister's Office/Secretary Public Service Commission

11:10–11:30Networking Break

11:30–11:45Fast Focus: Cost of Living

Few organizations are prepared for the challenges world events have on their business. Factors including currency fluctuations, inflation and the instability brought about by Brexit will impact international assignments in the years to come. Despite technology advances and the rise of a globally connected workforce, deployment of expatriate employees remains an increasingly complex aspect of a competitive multinational strategy. Mercer's Cost of Living survey is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation strategies for their expatriate employees. What does this data tell us about the future of deployment?

Mario FerraroMercer

11:45–12:30Asia Pacific Labour Market Trends – Rewards 2020

This session provides valuable insights based on first-hand client experiences and the latest Mercer data examining salary increases, attrition rates, hiring trends across the region as well as a number of other compensation and benefits trends. We also look at the future of rewards and some of the rewards practices that organizations could adopt to be successful in their efforts to attract and retain talent in this volatile economic environment.

Puneet SwaniMercer

12:30–13:45Lunch Break


ASEAN — Insights Into the Fastest-Emerging Region

With an accelerating GDP and a boom in job creation, ASEAN continues to be one of the world's fastest-growing regions. But growth, albeit good, has its own challenges — the continuing demand for talent in a tight and competitive labor market has changed the talent landscape. Other barriers, such as the friction for businesses to open and operate in a lot of these countries, along with technological transformation, make it increasingly challenging. This session aims to share an overview of the talent landscape in ASEAN as well as shed light on the prevailing remuneration practices and labor trends that every HR professional must know.

Mansi ShettyMercer

Total Well-being: Engage Your Employee and Manage Cost

HR is more challenged now than ever to engage employees while managing cost. According to Mercer Marsh Benefits’ 2015 Benefits Under the Lens survey, the most popular measure used by employers to contain cost is targeted wellness programs. Unfortunately, most programs implemented are passive and unengaging, with a narrow scope focused on physical wellness only. As a result, most in the marketplace today generated little or no impact. Thinking creatively to develop fun and engaging activities that focus on the concept of total well-being can help better engage your employees while managing the cost of benefits.

Roshni MaheshMercer

Workforce Metrics and Analytics — Supporting HR's Role in Business Success

Business and HR leaders are beginning to recognize the potential value of workforce metrics and analytics. Yet many organizations still struggle with developing a strategy and identifying where to start, what to measure and how metrics and analytics can support business strategies.

Every day you face challenging questions regarding the cost and effectiveness of your workforce.

  • How do we compare to our competitors?
  • Why are turnover levels so high? Is it happening only in certain functions or at certain levels in the organization?
  • Are employees productive and generating profits?
  • Is our organization too top-heavy?
  • Is our workforce structure supporting our business strategy?
  • Are our payroll dollars being spent on the right priorities, and are payroll expenses driving up our overall cost base?

Answers to these questions can help you evaluate the competitiveness of your workforce strategy. Workforce metrics and analytics help organizations address business critical questions by providing the key indicators needed to make strategic HR decisions and impact business results. By looking at the right workforce metrics, HR identifies the business problem for the executives, takes ownership of workforce optimization and contributes to business solutions.

Alexander KrasavinMercer

The Rise of Asian Multinationals and the Need for a New Global Mobility Paradigm

As more and more Asian companies expand overseas, employers are facing a series of new and interesting challenges. Moving assignees within the same region can prove just as challenging as moving assignees from Western countries. How should companies ensure that the assignee’s compensation package is attractive and yet affordable, when staff are deployed from less developed economies? Should organizations adopt a “Local Plus” approach when sending employees from Malaysia to Philippines?

In this session, we provide answers to these and many more questions, and explore how emerging markets pose unique challenges for global mobility. We also discuss how companies are managing this new breed of Asian expatriates and outline best practices in the area of planning, compensation and repatriation, as well as the role of HR in managing intra-regional mobility.

Julia RadchenkoMercer

14:30–14:50Networking Break

14:50–15:35Addressing the Elephant in the Room – Is There Really a Shortage of Tech Talent?

Evolving technology has created opportunities for businesses, along with disruptions to business operations. This has placed tech professionals in the spotlight, particularly in areas such as development, cyber security, data analytics, and network and infrastructure. Demand for such tech specialists is expected to grow in the next few years, so how can we ensure there is enough tech talent in the market? How can we recruit and develop new hires while retaining and motivating the current workforce? How do we address the misalignment between line managers’ expectations about the perfect candidate and our aim to get the best talent into the organization?

June KohLeader, Human Capital Development, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore

15:35–15:50Fast Focus: Stress and Wellness

Globalization and urbanization are distinct social-economic human developmental forces that affect the way we think, behave and work today. Can humans manage these challenges, or are we stressing ourselves out? How much do we really understand about our bodies and musculoskeletal health? What does “stasis” mean in human physiology? What innovative HR policies are companies developing to help tackle chronic work-related musculoskeletal disorders, such as tension headaches, carpel tunnel syndrome, chronic lower back pain, shoulder impingement and pinched nerves? Are companies doing enough to get their human capital “tuned out” of devices, chairs and desks? Where do we start? What needs to be done to achieve allostasis and restore equilibrium to our human bodies? “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” said Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher.

Ernie LimPractice Co-Principal/ Director, ONEphysio

15:50–16:35Predictive Analytics

How do we prepare for 2020 and beyond? Business leaders preparing for the future of HR will need to move from “I think” to “I know.” Employee expectations have evolved well beyond anecdotal information — the new emphasis must be on data-driven correlations, forecasting and predictive and casual modeling that tell precisely what’s working now and what will work for business success and sustainable growth in the future.

Sid MehtaMercer

16:35–16:45Wrap-up of Day One

Godelieve van DoorenMercer

16:45–19:30Cocktails and Networking



09:00–09:10Welcome to Day Two

Godelieve van DoorenMercer

09:10–09:55Keynote Speech: "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" — Walking the Talk on Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) is an obligatory topic these days in HR and other circles. Individuals, on one hand, with their range of characteristics and competences, want to be recognized, respected and valued for who they are. Organizations, on the other hand, particularly in the private sector, aspire to build cultures and structures that will help them compete for the best talent — including diverse talent — and thrive more effectively in a highly globalized and competitive world.

Using research data and personal experience, Dr. Astrid S. Tuminez addresses diversity, first from the perspective of gender and focusing on Asia. What is the state of women's leadership and what are the factors that help or hinder women from advancing to the top levels of leadership in the world's most economically dynamic region? What cultural factors are particularly sticky and how can these be addressed? Next, beyond gender, what other aspects of diversity matter and how? Dr. Tuminez discusses diversity in general as it relates to age, religion, ethnicity, education, linguistic ability, disability, religion and sexual orientation. Finally, what are some best practices in walking the talk on D&I? How can individual leaders, teams and organizations go from the easy "corporate speak" on D&I to implementing effective practices? How can D&I be effectively embedded as a value that people genuinely believe and practice within their teams and organizations?

Dr. Astrid S. TuminezRegional Director, Legal and Corporate Affairs, Microsoft

09:55–10:40Panel Discussion: Diversity and Inclusion

Gender equality and diversity issues are getting significant attention today; the touchstone has often been the gap in pay between men and women. Equality between women and men is obviously of great importance, and governments are increasingly imposing legislative requirements regarding gender-pay analysis as a step to resolving the problem. We believe that the business case for addressing diversity is powerful and that addressing gender pay gaps requires giving attention to a broad range of programs beyond reward. In this session, we address diversity issues in companies to help reap the business benefits.


Dion GroenewegMercer


Dr. Astrid S. TuminezRegional Director, Legal and Corporate Affairs, Microsoft

Catherine ShawDiversity & Inclusiveness Project Lead and Consultant, ASEAN Talent Team, Ernst & Young Solutions LLP, Singapore

Hayden MajajasHead of Diversity & Inclusion APAC, Bloomberg L.P.

Susan HabermanMercer

*Additional panelists to be confirmed.

10:40–11:00Networking Break

11:00–11:45Managing Talent in a Globalized World

Although the business environment in AMEA has undergone a steady globalization over the past several decades, the competencies of many HR functions have evolved at a much slower pace and now lag behind. Historically, global mobility was considered a specialist HR discipline, mainly focused on a small segment of the workforce — specifically, a restricted group of senior individuals who were deployed across borders on expensive expatriate packages. But as the talent landscape becomes increasingly global and diverse, global mobility is evolving into a critical component of talent management, enabling organizations to attract, deploy, develop and retain the best resources on a global basis, thereby supporting the execution of business strategies in international organizations.

This session explores the complexities associated with managing talent in today’s globalized environment, and how global mobility has evolved from a specialist function to being an integral part of many mainstream HR processes.

Mario FerraroMercer

Michelle TaiGlobal Mobility Director - Mars Inc.

11:45–12:00Fast Focus: Hyper-longevity and Healthcare — Are We Ready?

In 1900, life expectancy in the United States of America was 47 years. A hundred years later, this jumped to 75 years. Is there a natural limit? What happens if the linear increase in life expectancy spikes sharply upward? This presentation examines the science behind aging and the impact of discontinuous changes on healthcare demand/supply dynamics and financing. We discuss implications for payers of healthcare and the downstream impact on models of care.

Jeremy LimPartner, Head of Health & Life Sciences, Asia Pacific, Oliver Wyman

12:00–13:15Lunch Break


International Pension Plans — The Way of the Future

With increasing life expectancy and concerns around adequate retirement savings, employers continue to look for retirement vehicles for their employees. Furthermore, employees’ savings behaviors, status of employment and performance in a company are so vastly different that a homogeneous pension plan design is becoming less and less practical. In this session, we discuss how an international pension plan can be flexible enough to cater to employee's needs, behaviors and performance, as well as share some case studies from clients.

Neil NaraleMercer

HR Trends in China

Organizations in Asia have already recognized the importance of upskilling: 53% in China have plans in place to build this capability in 2016 and beyond, compared to 36% globally (source: 2016 Mercer Talent Trends Survey). Government policies are also increasingly favoring employees over employers, and ever-rising expectations from the country's increasingly demanding workforce are forcing organizations to rethink their HR strategies and policies. Many multinational companies are facing a war for talent in which only the most innovative will be able to compete successfully. In this session, we walk through the latest talent challenges, present employee rewards practices deployed by both multinational companies and local Chinese companies, and share how some companies are using innovative total rewards programs to create an edge.

Maggie LiMercer

Balancing the Old With the New: Managing a Diverse Workforce in India

Amid slowing growth in Asia, India continues to project a healthy growth rate, fueled by economic reform, booming consumerism and a positive demographic dividend. However, as in the rest of the world, Indian business leaders see a talent shortage as one of the most critical challenges to overcome. Both brick and mortar businesses and the new-age digital start-ups are facing attraction and retention challenges. In this session, we share an overview of the business and talent landscape in India and Total Reward practices that are being implemented in order to attract and retain talent across different industries and across different demographic profiles.

Shanthi NareshMercer

Employee Value Proposition and Communication

All organizations have an employee value proposition (EVP); in fact, they may have many. They may not know it but they do — and that’s the problem. Your EVP will determine whether people join your organization, how they behave (if they do) and whether they stay. It will also determine what they say about you on social media. And what they say, which will mostly be about their experience of working for you, will determine whether other join, and so on. So you can’t leave it to chance — your EVP needs to be a clear and honest account of what it’s like to work for you. It needs to inform your program design and communicate the behaviors of managers who are expected to be advocates of your proposition.

Sean TanMercer

Bernard CoulatyInternational VP HR, Author & Speaker, Founder & CEO, MOST engaged consulting

14:00–14:15Room Transfer


Designing Engaging and Cost-Effective Flexible Benefits

In an age when technology leads the revolution, we invite you on a journey to the future of employee benefits. In this workshop, we demonstrate how you can design and deliver flexible benefits to engage your multi-generational workforce, differentiate you from your competitors and improve your employees’ user experience.

Liana AttardMercer

Accelerating HR Capabilities

There is a shift in what businesses value from HR — from static HR metrics and review-based processes toward dynamic HR insights and future-focused information. Mercer's 2016 Global Talent Trends Study found that only 3% of HR professionals in Asia believe HR is viewed as a strategic business partner in their organization. There is a disconnect between the amount of change business leaders are proposing and the current capability of many HR teams to support this change. In this session, we explore the evolution of HR roles and discuss strategies for building your team's HR competencies to truly partner with business leaders and engage the workforce of tomorrow.

Joanna YeohMercer

Play the Talent Game — an Interactive Simulation to Get Your People Decisions Right!

Did you know that 59% of organizations in Asia Pacific report that their people managers have little or no accountability for developing future leaders? Would you have more success with delivering your strategy if managers made better people decisions? Join us for an exciting simulation from Mercer that focuses on talent decision-making. Through a board game that teams play, managers learn about the implications of their talent decisions on the business. The complexities built into the simulation enable managers to experience first-hand the tradeoffs they need to make when developing people with a finite budget and the implications of making short-term decisions on longer-term performance.

Vidisha MehtaMercer

Trends and Challenges in Executive Remuneration

With increasing regulatory scrutiny on how senior executives are compensated, the management of executive remuneration is becoming even more challenging. Balancing the interests and views of executives, directors, shareholders and regulators needs the application of high levels of judgement based on solid information. This session explores how and why executive remuneration practices are changing. We look at two levels: how remuneration frameworks are changing at a group level (for the company CEOs and executive directors) and the effect these changes have on the incentive arrangements for executives in the region.

Jon RobinsonMercer

15:00–15:30Networking Break

15:30–15:45Fast Focus: Managing Benefit Cost Using Predictive Data Modeling and Analytics

How is HR moving away from traditional benefits management and taking a data-driven approach? Use data effectively to create a framework, which will allow you to eliminate risks and unknown costs to create sustainability of benefits, improve cost efficiency and allow for better predictability. Data modeling identifies the "cost of doing nothing" and predicts the future costs of continuing with the status quo versus making specific targeted changes. The use of analytics also allows HR to fully understand potential savings, efficiencies and ROI in adopting an alternative approach.

Liana AttardMercer

15:45–16:30Innovative Benefits

As companies recognize that benefits play an important role in attracting, retaining and engaging employees, they are becoming increasingly innovative (yet cost conscious) when developing their benefits strategies. Savvy companies turn to data to ensure that their benefits plans stay competitive within the market. Benefits are vital to attracting, retaining and engaging your employees — but only when they are correctly aligned with their needs. The main questions organizations and HR professionals should be asking are:

  • Are my benefits truly helping my diverse workforce?
  • If the benefits are good, then is it a competitive package?

Adel TanDirector, Compensation & Benefits APAC, LinkedIn

16:30–17:00Conference Close

Godelieve van DoorenMercer

Kim AbildgaardMercer

Mercer reserves the right to make changes in the agenda or speaker roster at any time without prior notice.

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