Morneau Shepell, a leading Canadian provider of employee assistance programs (EAP), health, benefits, and retirement solutions has announced that they’ve reached an agreement to acquire Lifeworks, an international well-being solution provider which combines employee assistance, wellness, recognition and incentive programs. A press release published here announcing the deal. Further details have been released, but are marked “not for dissemination in the U.S.,” so we can’t share them here.

Morneau Shepell doesn’t show up much on the U.S. HR or HR technology radar. Largely known as a consulting and services provider in the EAP and benefits space, I did notice them with a small presence at the LRP Benefits Leadership and Strategy event this year. The deal is a no-brainer on paper for Morneau Shepell, in the core of their business they gain EAP customers and staff in places they aren’t known to have them, namely the U.S., Europe, and Australia. There’s a bigger play that I’d love to see Morneau Shepell embrace. As highlighted previously in HRWins, Lifeworks* is really the only vendor I’ve seen to deliver an employee-centric application focused across wellness, employee assistance, feedback, recognition, and financial wellness. By integrating mental wellness via EAP in alignment with the rest of Lifeworks’ offering they bring Morneau Shepell an incredibly exciting opportunity not just to grow internationally, but to disrupt the market in more ways than one. Heres hoping they see that opportunity, employees — people — around the world will be better off because of it if they do.

*Lifeworks has sponsored HRWins research and reports, leveraged LAROCQUE advisory/consulting services, and is a current thought leadership content customer.