first quarter, we have plans to open our first international
offices in Toronto and London in 2014. A lot of planning
is already underway for this adventure. In terms of
practice areas, I would highlight three areas: Everything
Digital: This covers quite a large space including
mobile applications, new products/service launching
and consumer-focused initiatives to understand, obtain
and retain end-customers; Information Management
and Analytics: We are still scratching the surface in
discovering how analytics can play into providing key
business insights for our clients. We expect many of
our “pilot-project” initiatives to become full-blown
enterprise-wide strategic initiatives; We are seeing a
lot of M&A activity across industries: We expect given
our trusted relationships on many fronts that we will
be asked to help with smooth and seamless transitions
whether a company is acquiring or being acquired. We
have already won several projects in this capacity in Q4
of 2013 and expect this to continue in 2014.
Q: How do you see the profession evolving in 2014?
A: Data and Digital seem to be the strongest areas of
growth. In the Advanced Analytics space, companies
are planning to take various proof of concept ideas
and roll them out to even larger, more critical parts
of their organization. This is not a new concept, but I
believe in 2014 and 2015 these smaller projects will
become fully baked programs.
Q: Where is the firm today?
A: Aon Hewitt is building on its position as the HR industry leader with a
portfolio of distinctive solutions serving both organizations and individuals across the categories of talent, retirement and health.
As we close out 2013, Aon
Hewitt is well positioned both for
2014 and for long-term profitable
growth. If I had to choose one surprise for the year, it would be the
velocity of client interest in U.S.
health care exchanges. We have
been at the forefront of finding new
and innovative approaches to help
companies determine their future
path in health care, and that includes private health exchanges.
Our firm’s leadership in the
private health exchange space has
created a dynamic new marketplace
for companies that are looking to
offer increased choice and fully
insured, multi-carrier competition.
For example, the number of new
employers that joined Aon Hewitt’s
exchange in 2014 is five times the
number that participated in 2013.
In total, we anticipate more than
330,000 U.S. employees and their
families will be covered under plans
in the Aon Hewitt Corporate Health
Exchange in 2014. That’s up from
just 100,000 in 2013.
Q: How would you describe the
firm’s outlook for 2014?
A: During earnings, Aon described
expectations for Aon Hewitt to
achieve adjusted operating income
growth “greater than mid-single-digits” in 2014, representing year over
year improvement in profitability
versus the mid-single-digit growth
expected for fiscal year 2013.
Q: How do you see the consulting
profession evolving in 2014?
A: There is a growing base of
consulting leveraging analytics
and fact-based, big data. We are
increasingly bringing analytics
solutions to our clients, and we
are also working with highly
innovative clients to develop new
talent analytics offerings. We expect
this trend of increasing analytics
solutions to continue and develop
some new market innovations in
the consulting space. The business
world is constantly changing and
the changes we’re seeing in talent,
retirement and health have a big
influence on what Aon Hewitt does
every day for our clients, whether
it’s helping them attract and retain
talent, ensuring their employees
are financially secure, or providing
health solutions that provide greater
choice, affordability and wellness.