by Alex Palmer | April 08, 2015
On April 6, Hinda Incentives announced that it had closed the acquisition of Engagement Technology's Universal Rewards Exchange (URE). The virtual marketplace of more than 70 vendors is now a division of Chicago-based incentive house, led by the URE's existing management team of Vice President of Sales Jim Kilmetis and Vice President of Customer Operations Andrea Lightman. 

Hinda President Mike Donnelly, to whom the URE leaders will report, emphasized that the acquisition will add capabilities and resources to the organization's network of independent recognition professionals, VAR Partners.

"While our VAR Partners enjoy a full-service solution to their rewards and recognition programs that enables them to focus primarily on selling or on their other core businesses, the URE provides a unique, transparent marketplace for the incentive, recognition and other types of do-it-yourself solution providers who seek to have their own relationships with vendors, or who wish to utilize their own catalogs or front-end program management technologies," he told Incentive.

He added that the URE can also benefit the VAR Partners with "smaller opportunities" such as through Hinda's existing relationship with URE's parent company Engagement Enterprises, which he maintained would make it easier to implement solutions that are already integrated with the exchange. These include marketing and technology services such as the Solata Engagement Express and Portal program management technologies and the Engagement Agency licensee program, specially designed for marketing, HR, and recognition providers.

The acquisition was announced earlier this year. As the acquisition closes, Hinda is in the midst of integrating its technology platforms and offerings with the URE, according to Donnelly, in order for Hinda to position itself and its partners "to suggest the right solution for the right opportunity."

"Our full-service capabilities, mixed with our subject matter expertise around solution design and program management, enable our VAR Partners to develop programs that leverage the best of the two companies, and in the end - drive success," said Donnelly. "We look forward to working with all of the wholesale suppliers in the URE marketplace to produce more volume for all and to improve industry efficiencies."