What the Aon Acquisition of Modern Survey Means

Posted on February 14, 2016 by Don MacPherson.

The press release announcing Aon’s purchase of Modern Survey was distributed last week. After nearly 17 years of founding and building Modern Survey into an international provider of employee measurement software, my partners and I decided it was time to find an organization to propel our work further and faster. Aon is the perfect fit. What this acquisition means depends on who you are.

Modern Survey’s Employees – Bright and talented is an appropriate description for all of Modern Survey’s employees. A struggle for us over the years is providing growth and development opportunities for our achievers. Aon, with 70,000 employees, provides an incredibly wide range of opportunities for the employees who want to pursue them. It’s reassuring knowing that we can retain our employees and give them the opportunity to make the most of their human potential. It’s what we want at our client organizations and it’s what we want for our own employees.

Modern Survey’s Clients – Alone Modern Survey is strong in so many areas – technology, innovation, an unrelenting willingness to get the job done. However, when we did lose business it was often because we didn’t have the massive benchmarking databases that some competitors have or because we didn’t have a global consulting network. We often say that technology in our business will get you data, but technology combined with great advice provides you with stories that your leaders can tell and your employees will understand. Through Aon, we are thrilled to be able to provide a much deeper level of advice to our clients along with a number of additional tools that we are going to continue to help our clients accelerate their people to the extraordinary.

Modern Survey’s PartnersDan Riley, Patrick Riley, and I are all excited to see how we can make our mark at Aon. We are working hard to make the integration a success. We will also be filling roles that are particularly suited to our strengths. As entrepreneurs we wore many hats and had dozens of different responsibilities on any given day. Most of those hats will be shed giving us the opportunity to do what we do well on a very global scale. That’s really thrilling.

Aon – With offices in over 100 countries and a partnership with Manchester United, the brand is ubiquitous. Prior to the acquisition, Aon was a top five provider of employee engagement solutions in the world. That success was not without its opportunities. The acquisition of Modern Survey is an opportunity for Aon to move into employee lifecycle measurement (from the candidate experience through an employee’s exit), talent analytics through the Heat platform, and ongoing employee pulse surveying. It’s flattering to know that Modern Survey fills all those needs perfectly.

The Marketplace – The employee engagement space has evolved rapidly. Two years ago, very few organizations were asking to measure across the employee lifecycle and to frequently gather feedback from employees through pulse surveys. Now, almost every company we meet with wants to do that. There is also great interest in integrating all of this information together and bringing in other data from an HRIS, an applicant tracking system, a CRM, and even financial data. This acquisition gives us the opportunity to conduct pulse employee surveys quarterly or even monthly, measure the employee lifecycle, and tie all of that information together in a meaningful way so our clients’ leaders can understand the health of their organization and work with employees to make it better. No other company in the world can do all this with the global consulting footprint that we have. Not the upstart technology companies and not the traditional employee engagement providers. What we provide is truly unmatched in the marketplace!

To learn more about how the unmatched combination of Aon and Modern Survey can help your organization elevate employee engagement, measure the employee lifecycle, and create a talent analytics strategy, please contact us.

10 responses to “What the Aon Acquisition of Modern Survey Means”

  1. Kathy Carlson says:

    Congratulations Don and Team!
    This does sound like a fantastic combination of companies and talents – both groups stand to benefit greatly. Exciting times!
    Wishing you all the best.

  2. Congratulations Modern Survey! It has been fun to see you grow and evolve over the years. You’ve always been best in class and now you will have the opportunity to be part of a big and highly respected world clad leader. I am very proud of you!

  3. Maryellen Cillizza says:

    Dan, it’s very exciting news to see your original company grow and now merger so it can continue to do all the great things you have been known for.

  4. Don – your friends in Maine wish you and team continued success and creativity.

  5. Tom Verghese says:

    Don, congratulations to you, your partners and your team. You have come a long way since our meeting in Hong Kong may years ago! All the very best for your future enterprise.

  6. Great news Don. We’re really happy for you and the team and hope that this helps you go from strength to strength.

  7. Carl Pearson says:

    Congratulations to you, Don, and to the team. It has been exciting to see you develop, grow and maintain this HR resource over the years!

  8. Bob Schoenbaum says:

    Congratulations, Don!!!

  9. Daniel Baitch says:

    This is a brilliant acquisition! Congratulations to both Modern Survey and Aon. The strategic fit seems right on target.

  10. Congratulations on the merger with Aon. My experience in working with Aon has been exceptional over the years on behalf of my clients. This is truly the reward for all the hard work put into creating an amazing organization at Modern Survey that offers truly needed insight into the world of engagement.

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