Let the Mergers Begin

On a whole, 2012 seemed to be a fairly busy year as far as HR-vendor M&As were concerned. So should we expect more of the same in 2013?

We’re only three days into the new year and we’ve already received word of one noteworthy acquisition in the HR consulting space: Deloitte Consulting has acquired Oakland, Calif.-based Bersin & Associates, a leading provider of research-based membership programs and advisory services in the HR, talent and learning market.

Bersin & Associates should be a familiar name to regular readers of this blog. Indeed, when an M&A occurs in the supplier community, founder and CEO Josh Bersin is at the top of our list of folks we frequently seek out for comment, since he almost always has some fresh and on-target insights to share.

That being the case, I was pleased to read the following paragraph in the press announcement: “The Bersin team will remain intact” and “focused on delivering analytics, research, and tools that employers use as a foundation for day-to-day decision making … . ”

Under its new owner, Bersin now operates under the name “Bersin by Deloitte.”

At first glance, Deloitte’s acquisition of Bersin seems like it should be a win-win for both parties.

In the press announcement, Deloitte Consulting’s Managing Director of Human Capital Barbara Adachi points out that the acquisition provides Deloitte’s “clients with an enhanced portfolio of HR and talent management research, benchmarking and advisory services to help them address these challenges—all from a single source.”

Bersin told me this morning that the acquisition should help Deloitte “become the source for benchmarking data in HR.” The two, he said, will work together to “grow that database as a separate part of the product offering.”

At the same time, he adds, Bersin will be able to leverage Deloitte’s huge pool of global professionals to expand its reach, while continuing to serve as an industry analyst and provide clients with consulting services.

One would think, considering how dynamic the HR space has been lately, the two should have ample opportunity going forward to prove the merits of this marriage.