The Forum Corporation is a global learning and consulting company focused on leadership development and sales performance. The company works with customers around the world and across a large variety of industries. Founded in 1971, the company established itself as a pioneer in the corporate training and education space. Forum has worked with over 480 companies, 130 of which are listed on the Fortune 500. Forum was founded in 1971. Five partners, several of whom had recently graduated from Harvard Business School, originally financed the startup with their American Express cards. By 1982 it was ranked 362 on the Inc. 500 list of the fastest growing private companies in America, with 170 employees and 40 part-time instructors. As clients moved the company began conducting operations overseas in the late 1970s. On June 30, 2000, Forum accepted an offer by Pearson, a London-based media conglomerate, to purchase Forum for US$90 million (GBP 60 million) in cash. Pearson intended to merge Forum with FT Knowledge to generate sales of US$110 million in its first year. Forum Chairman and CEO John Humphrey oversaw the integration as chairman of an international advisory board while FT Knowledge CEO Pippa Wicks became the CEO of the new company. Forum executive vice president Jennifer Potter-Brotman was promoted to CEO of Forum, as Pearson wished to keep senior Forum managers and preserve brand identity. After Forum shareholders unanimously approved the purchase, and the Federal Trade Commission approved the deal on July 10, the official announcement was released August 3.