A thunder clap has sounded in the group benefits business: Morneau Shepell announced yesterday afternoon that it had acquired Solareh.

Marie-Thérèse Dugré, the CEO of Solareh, reveals that she has decided to retire in 2017. "I had to think about the future as Solareh's majority owner, and joining Morneau Shepell is a solid step forward in enhancing the services we provide to our clients," she explains.  "Solareh clients will gain access to Morneau Shepell's technology and worldwide presence, and Morneau Shepell will benefit from an experienced team of employees who have consistently provided a high quality of service to their clients."

Julien Ponce, Morneau Shepell's Executive Vice President, Eastern Canada and National Leader of the Consulting Practice says that the acquisition will leverage the skills, knowledge and experience of both the Morneau Shepell and Solareh teams. It will "promote effective and efficient clinical best practices in employee assistance and family programs (EFAPs), absence management and other health and wellness services for our clients," he says.

Rita Fridella, Executive Vice President, Morneau Shepell, and General Manager, Employee Support Solutions, adds that the acquisition fits with the company's growth strategy. "Solareh's reputation will further solidify Morneau Shepell's position as the leading EFAP provider in Quebec, as well as the largest provider of employee assistance programs and integrated absence management solutions in Canada."

"We are committed to ensuring this will be a seamless transition for Solareh clients," comments Sylvain Authier, Vice President EFAP, Quebec and Atlantic regions, Morneau Shepell. "With the purchase, Solareh clients will see no interruption in their service, and will continue to benefit from Solareh's clinical network."

Morneau Shepell says this acquisition represents less than two percent of its revenue and it is not expected to have a material impact on the firm's financial performance.