The acquisition, which was announced in November (see Mellon to Buy Unifi ) expands the reach of the group’s Buck Consultants and Mellon Employee Benefit Solutions (MEBS) businesses, and makes Mellon the fourth largest provider of human resources counsulting and outsourcing services, according to the firm. Rumors of a deal between the two firms had circulated for months (see Mellon in Talks to Buy Unifi Network: Sources ) prior to the formal announcement.
Significantly, the acquisition lays the groundwork for what is likely to be an even greater committment to the total benefits outsourcing business – reuniting MEBS President/CEO Jude Metcalfe with the capabilities of what had been consultant Kwasha Lipton, prior to its acquisition by PWC.
Metcalfe, who headed up Fidelity’s retirement services business before joining Mellon, had previously been responsible for reorganizing Kwasha’s total benefits outsourcing business (see Fidelity Exec To Head Dreyfus, Buck Units ). And industry insiders say Metcalfe is just the person to deliver on a renewed committment at Mellon.
Unifi, which had $351 million in revenue for the fiscal year ending June 2001, was created through the 1998 merger of Coopers & Lybrand and Price Waterhouse. Its HR outsourcing business, comprising 2,100 employees, has become part of MEBS, and its approximately 400-member HR consulting business has become part of Buck Consultants (see Mellon Merger Creates “New” Benefits Provider ).