Mercer, which is owned by insurance broker giant Marsh & McLennan, advises companies around the world on HR issues and in particular their pension fund and remuneration arrangements.
Last week Marsh said it had decided not to sell Mercer following a strategic review of its main businesses.
Salmans spent 20 years in comms in the US banking sector before becoming head of comms for Bank of America's asset management arm, Columbia.
He is understood to have left there at the end of 2004, and has since acted as a freelance consultant.
He previously spent seven years as senior V-P of corporate comms at Fleet Boston where he led corporate comms for the bank's asset management and Wall Street businesses.
Prior to Fleet Boston, he was at Chase Manhattan Bank and its predecessor, Chemical Bank for 12 years, where he led corporate communications and direct marketing. He has also worked at Bankers Trust Company, where he was in charge of corporate comms for EMEA.
Mercer is in the process of integrating Mellon Human Resources, a competitor it acquired in February.