Eckler buys consulting firm Employee Financial Well-Being

30 January 2019 Consulting.ca

Toronto-headquartered actuarial and consulting firm Eckler has acquired Oakville, ON–based training & education consultancy Employee Financial Well-Being (EFW).

Founded in 1927, Toronto-based Eckler Ltd. provides consulting and actuarial services to clients across the world. On the financial services side, the firm offers life, property, and casualty insurance consulting; Eckler also provides pension, benefits, and investment consulting. The firm further delivers communications and change management solutions, including employee financial wellness programs.

Financial stress is a big productivity killer, with US employees spending an average of 13 hours per month worrying about their financial security. According to research from Mercer, this means US$250 billion in lost wages annually. To combat financial stress and productivity losses, firms initiate financial wellness programs.

Oakville-based Employee Financial Well-Being (EFW) – which has now been acquired by Eckler – is one such consulting firm that provides programs and training in the area. The firm delivers facilitated financial education modules, step-by-step guides to financial planning, 24/7 access to web tools and webinars, and additional learning aids and resources. EFW argues that its offerings boost productivity, talent attraction and retention, engagement, and satisfaction with compensation, while reducing absenteeism and drug benefit costs.

Eckler buys consultancy Employee Financial Well-Being

Eckler’s absorption of EFW bolsters the firm’s employee financial wellness offering. "Eckler's acquisition of EFW is another meaningful commitment to help Canadians improve their financial security," commented Janice Holman, Principal and leader of the Defined Contribution and Financial Wellness practices at Eckler. "While Eckler's roots are in helping Canadians secure retirement income, we've recognized that in today's consumption-based world, teaching Canadians the foundation of money management is key to help them achieve the lifestyle they want, both today and in retirement."

Eckler has offices in Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Halifax, Winnipeg, and Vancouver, as well as international offices in Jamaica and Barbados. The firm is a founding member of Abelica Global, an international alliance of actuarial and consulting firms across 25 countries. The alliance allows for collaboration and resource sharing between members while maintaining firm independence.

"Eckler is a perfect fit for the types of services EFW offers," said Frank Wiginton, CEO of Employee Financial Well-Being. "EFW has prided itself on its ability to engage and educate members from a holistic perspective, the same approach Eckler takes with its service offerings. It is equally important that Eckler engages clients without any biases or conflicts – a philosophy EFW has embraced since we opened our doors. We look forward to leveraging Eckler's deep retirement, benefits and communications expertise to nationally broaden our leading financial education."

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

19 March 2019 Consulting.ca

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.