HR consultancy Morneau Shepell to acquire LifeWorks

11 July 2018

Canadian human resources and technology consultancy Morneau Shepell has announced its intent to acquire employee well-being services firm LifeWorks. LifeWorks provides an integrated digital platform built around employee assistance programs, employee engagement, rewards and recognition, and HR communications.

Toronto-based Morneau Shepell is one the leading human resources and technology consulting firms in Canada. The firm is a leading provider of employee assistance programs, and the largest administrator of retirement and benefits plans in Canada. Founded in 1966, Morneau Shepell has over 4,000 employees in offices across North America, with a client base of about 20,000. The firm posted revenues of $592 million in 2016.

The growing HR consultancy has had a healthy appetite for mergers and acquisitions since the 1990s. High-deals have included the purchase of the Canadian pension consulting practice of Deloitte & Touche in 1998, as well as the acquisition of Mercer’s Canadian pension and benefits administration practice. In 2017 alone, the firm acquired Chestnut Global Partners, Pro Health Group, and Longpré.

Now, the consultancy has announced the acquisition of Atlanta-based LifeWorks – an employee well-being services firm. Serving the US, UK, Australia, and Canada, LifeWorks provides a user-friendly unified app platform that incorporates an employee assistance program, HR communications and community, perks and savings, rewards and recognition, and a wellness program.HR consultancy Morneau Shepell to acquire Lifeworks"This acquisition is aligned with Morneau Shepell's global growth strategy as well as our focus on technology innovations to create added value for our clients and their employees," said Stephen Liptrap, President and Chief Executive Officer of Morneau Shepell. "This is a tremendous opportunity to grow our U.S. and global footprint, while building on our technology footprint to create integrated user experiences."

LifeWorks has over 500 employees, and draws on a broader worldwide network of over 24,000 counsellors, coaches, and specialists. The company helps over 4,200 clients in 57 industries improve their employees’ health and productivity.

"LifeWorks' goal is to positively impact the health and well-being of employees globally with our cutting edge technology. This transaction brings us one large step closer to this goal," commented Jamie True, Chief Executive Officer of LifeWorks.  "Our more than 500 employees will become a fundamental part of the Morneau Shepell team. LifeWorks' well-being service and platform combined with Morneau Shepell's recognized clinical strength and award-winning employee support solutions cements our position as the leading employee well-being power brand."

Morneau Shepell sought to acquire LifeWorks in order to strengthen their employee assistance program business. "Morneau Shepell is deeper in the clinical treatment side of workplace health with a strong technology platform,” remarked Rita Fridella, Executive Vice-President, Morneau Shepell and President, Employee Support Solutions.

“LifeWorks brings an integrated platform focused on EAP, employee engagement, rewards and recognition, and HR communications. Together we create an enhanced integrated employee experience."

The deal will enhance Morneau Shepell’s geographic footprint through the addition of LifeWork’s presence in the US, UK, Australia, and Canada. The transaction is expected to close later this month.


Syntax closes FIT deal, welcomes Quebec Minister of Economy and Innovation

19 March 2019

IT consulting and services firm Syntax Systems recently welcomed Pierre Fitzgibbon, Quebec Minister of Economy and Innovation, to its Montreal headquarters. At a joint press conference, the firm announced the completion of its acquisition of Germany-based SAP cloud specialist Freudenberg IT (FIT).

In January, Syntax – a portfolio company of Montreal-based private equity firm Novacap – announced a double acquisition of cloud ERP consulting firms EmeraldCube Solutions and FIT. EmeraldCube’s specialization lies in Oracle’s JD Edwards software, as well as Amazon Web Services, while FIT is a leading SAP partner. Novacap provided equity financing for the deals.

The acquisition of FIT augmented Syntax’s core offering in Oracle strategy and implementation with SAP software expertise, while extending the firm’s footprint into Europe, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific, as well as adding 850 employees. The EmeraldCube deal boosted the firm’s capabilities and presence in the US, adding to Syntax’s offices in New York City and Somerset, New Jersey.

Syntax closes FIT deal, welcomes Quebec Minister of Economy and Innovation

At a joint press conference attended by Quebec’s Minister of Economy and Innovation, Syntax announced the strategic acquisition is now official, after a six-week period of customary approvals.

"I am very proud of what our company has become. Thanks to these deals, Syntax can deploy its expertise in many new markets, such as Asia, Europe and Latin America, as well as reinforce its North American presence. Syntax will keep its head office in Quebec and wants to inspire other companies to conquer international markets. We look to the future with great confidence, because FIT and EmeraldCube Solutions share our values of customer success and excellence. We are now a major player in the industry," Christian Primeau, CEO of Syntax, said.

The FIT acquisition gives Syntax offices  in Germany, the US, China, Hungary, Slovakia, and Mexico. It also adds a strong client base in the automotive and manufacturing sectors, as well as a deep partner relationship with German ERP giant SAP.

“Quebec and its metropolis are locations that favour the development of information and communications technology as well as companies that are active in this cutting-edge sector. Syntax is demonstrating this by acquiring two international companies and continuing its growth," Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon said at the press conference. 

“This is a great example of a Quebec company that is distinguishing itself internationally and promoting our expertise throughout the world. I am delighted by this announcement, for Syntax and for Quebec as a whole," he added.