Securian Financial acquires benefits tech provider

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Securian Financial has acquired Empyrean Benefit Solutions, a Houston-based employee benefits and HR software provider. Empyrean has a platform for benefits administration, education and communication which integrates with insurance carriers, payroll systems and other third-party administrators.

Securian provides group life, accidental death, critical illness, accident and hospital indemnity insurance. Elias Vogen, senior director of group insurance at Securian Financial, says employee benefits is Securian’s largest market and the acquisition of Empyrean will expand the company’s offerings for consultants and customers.

“The employee benefits industry is changing rapidly, with customer expectations evolving based on technology,” Vogen says. “The most impactful innovation is at the intersection of data and engagement, with carriers making investments to build their capabilities outperforming those that do not.”

See also: Zywave M&A heats up with RateFactory buy

Mergers and acquisitions in the benefits and HR tech space have flourished over the last several years. Private equity poured close to $2 billion into the market over the past two years, with more than $900 million in the first seven months of 2017, according to a report from consulting firm Hampleton. The firm reports the largest HR tech buyers in 2018 include Kronos, Bullhorn, Marlin Equity and Assure Software.

Earlier this year, insurance benefits tech provider Zywave acquired RateFactory, a small group rating engine that is directly linked to insurance carrier quoting systems. This marks Zywave’s second acquisition since October and the company says it has plans to continue expansion.

In early July, human capital and benefits administration technology company Alight acquired Hodges-Mace, another employee benefits technology and communications firm which serves 500 U.S. employers and more than 1.2 million employees. This marks Alight’s fifth acquisition since becoming a standalone entity in 2017.

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Securian did not disclose the terms of the Empyrean purchase and the company will remain independent of Securian Financial.

Overall, Vogen says the purchase “underscores Securian Financial’s commitment to working with employers and consultants to transform the benefits experience, ultimately making it easier for employees to understand their benefits and make the best choices for themselves and their families.”

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