Global education and test prep company Kaplan announced on Wednesday the launch of their U.S. Global Leadership and Professional Development Practice at a New York kick-off event, attended by business leaders from the banking, finance and accounting sectors.

“Kaplan already serves the people development needs of many Fortune 500 companies in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa,” said Dr. Andrew Temte, president of Kaplan Professional Education, per a press release “Extending Kaplan’s successful global practice into the United States further enhances our ability to serve and meet the global professional development needs of global corporations, especially in the banking, finance and accounting sectors.”

“We believe that both technical and behavioral confidence are key components in empowering leaders, managers and others to make the decisions that drive commercial performance,” continued Andrew Perkins, global vice president of Kaplan’s Leadership and Professional Development Practice. “And those decisions are made in the context of a workplace where people have to apply both a technical understanding of the issue at hand and simultaneously consider the human dimension.”

Kaplan says their approach is to work closely with clients in order to understand their business’ practices, processes and culture.

“This is obvious and yet learning and development programs are often separated out into technical lessons on one hand, and soft skills on the other,” Perkins added. “We believe development should integrate the technical and behavioral aspects and leverage the interdependences between them.  Our programs rely heavily on simulations and decision making scenarios that do just this.”

“The key to the successful development – of individuals and organizations – are interventions designed around what a particular business needs right now. No two businesses are the same, so why would the development they offer their people be the same?” stated Dr. Ian Stewart, global head of Kaplan’s Leadership and Organizational Practice. “Our experience with global firms operating in various business sectors is that specific interventions, rather than just theoretical programs, are necessary to imbed practical changes in the workforce that drive commercial advantage.”

Kaplan’s U.S. Leadership and Professional Development Practice will initially be based in Manhattan, with plans to expand to other U.S. cities soon.

For more on the Leadership and Professional Development Practice, head to Kaplan’s site here.