It was, in a way, a marriage of true minds. With CEB acquiring SHL in 2012, the union was an idea whose time has come.
The context of the merger is apparent enough. These days, the big challenge for many companies is the all-too-common disconnect between management and the human resources department - the top executives expect higher productivity, but the HR unit invariably does not know if the ramped-up revenue targets can be met based on the company's current talent pool. The need to bridge this gap is the main reason behind the merger.
CEB is a leading member-advisory company that helps leaders in transforming their operations, including selecting the right people for the right role. SHL helps organisations measure the value and potential of their employees to maximise business performance through human capital analytics.
It is a formidable partnership with some 60 years of experience, and about 3,500 employees spread across 55 offices in more than 110 countries.
"Our joint offering will provide companies with a laser approach or roadmap," said Robert Morgan, CEB general manager and president and CEO of SHL. He added that the merger was synergistic, as it offered better talent solutions for clients and members - although the two entities will still run their services separately, while their respective business models will stay intact.
"SHL, which was owned by private equity, now has a permanent home with CEB," Morgan added.
Mike Tims, president for Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa at SHL, sees an expanded menu of services and assessments linked to the measurement of talent behaviour and business performance, among other initiatives.
On a more practical level, Chris Frost, managing director at SHL Hong Kong, sees a need for more occupational psychologists and psychometricians for research and solutions.
"We will raise our game in how we create dialogue with the market," Frost said.
The two companies are also lining up thought-leadership modules to be delivered through webinars in September, combining their dual expertise.