Published in Nov/Dec 2018
From the #MeToo movement to Starbucks’ closing its stores for an afternoon of anti-bias training, the past year has brought to the fore the importance of inclusive workplaces. In fact, compliance training and diversity and inclusion (D&I) are more important than ever as risk mitigation practices.
Jonathan Satchell, chief executive of LTG, doesn’t believe that the importance of this issue is going to diminish in the coming years. After acquiring talent management software company PeopleFluent in June, LTG launched PeopleFluent’s Workplace Compliance and Diversity (WCAD) division as a separate brand in the LTG portfolio, to be named Affirmity and launched in November.
“We looked at that business,” Satchell says, “and it’s simply marvelous.” It has “a lot of consulting and intellectual prowess, a really respected research faculty,” and insufficient marketing behind it. By launching it as its own business, LTG will improve its go-to-market capabilities beyond the success it’s already seen.
Beyond government requirements to demonstrate diversity, a wide body of research supports the idea that there are significant business benefits to having a diverse workforce and inclusive organizational culture. Affirmity offers software that captures data about the workforce and consultants who interpret that data and make recommendations to improve diversity and comply with regulations. Combined with Eukleia, an LTG company that creates compliance training content, LTG now offers a full spectrum of compliance training and consulting products services.
This focus on D&I also demonstrates the increased focus LTG is placing on the U.S. market, where, Satchell says, “it’s high-growth, it’s high-quality,” and there are many “great companies.” He says that PeopleFluent has about one-quarter of the affirmative action market in the U.S., and while the U.K. doesn’t have “the same stringent legislation in our markets on reporting,” he believes that D&I will become more important there, and in the rest of Europe, as well as the U.S.
With the acquisition of PeopleFluent, LTG rounded out a portfolio that now covers an entire employee life cycle, from talent acquisition and onboarding to talent management and development. Compliance is an important part of that life cycle, especially as diversity and inclusion become more and more important for risk management, compliance and even public relations. Satchell says LTG will also be rolling out a new brand for vendor management services, which also comes out of PeopleFluent.
Satchell says the way LTG has merged and spun off new and existing brands (for instance, it recently announced the merger of LMS company NetDimensions with PeopleFluent) is strategic. “Talent management and learning management are incredibly closely aligned,” he says. “They are symbiotic with each other. And what we didn’t want to do was … just rely on some form of cross-selling to achieve results between those two businesses.” NetDimensions’ management team was “a year ahead” of PeopleFluent in terms of the post-acquisition transformation, so LTG hopes that they will be able to help PeopleFluent’s management team through this change.
“Now we have a single sales force with different [specialties],” he adds. Customers have the option of two LMSs, as well as the rest of PeopleFluent’s suite of products, and the management teams are working on integrating these products for “a very harmonized” user experience.
Satchell says that when LTG came to market in 2013, its goal was “to consolidate the corporate learning industry.” Since then, the company has rapidly progressed toward that goal and expanded it to include other aspects of talent. “We have all of the financial firepower to make further acquisitions,” he says, “and they can be in a more significant size than the $150 million we spent on acquiring PeopleFluent six months ago.” As long as the opportunities to acquire strong talent companies exist, it seems, LTG will continue to consolidate the market.