Aon buys UK employee benefits business Portus Consulting

18 July 2017 2 min. read

Aon has acquired Portus Consulting for an undisclosed fee, as the firm seeks to ramp up its benefits offering.

Global professional services firm Aon has acquired the independent UK-based employee benefits consulting firm Portus Consulting. Warwick-based Portus, founded in 2003, attracted the purchase by boasting a leading position in the UK professional services market, particularly in the legal sector and among SMEs with 50 to 750 employees. Aon anticipates to have the agreement, which is still subject to approval by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), will be completed by 31st August 2017.

Aon, which provides a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, hopes the acquisition of Portus will help the firm realise ambitions to grow its UK employee benefits business. Following the deal, Portus joins Aon Employee Benefits, which provides consultancy, broking services and technology to 2,500 large and SME corporate clients, covering over 1 million people in the UK.

Portus Consulting joins Aon UK

David Battle, CEO of Aon's UK Employee Benefits wing, said: “There is rising recognition from organisations of the importance of investing in employee benefits. Employers are increasingly encouraging staff wellbeing and retirement savings, which is putting the UK employee benefits market in a period of steady growth. Portus is a great strategic and cultural fit for our business, helping us to consolidate and strengthen our position in the market. Portus has an excellent team, a wealth of knowledge and experience, along with some great technology solutions which complement our own products and services.”

Stuart Gray, Founder of Portus, said, “This acquisition is bringing together two very strong businesses and the joint team will create vast expertise and offer innovative products to the market.”

Portus' CEO, Dave Middleton, added, “Both the Aon and Portus leadership teams recognise the strong cultural fit between our two companies, which will ensure a smooth transition for colleagues and clients alike.”

Aon’s competitors have also made moves to bolster their capacities in the benefits market in recent years. Earlier in 2017, Mercer completed the acquisition of digital benefits firm Thomsons Online Benefits, while Willis Towers Watson was itself formed out of an £18 billion merger, in a bid to create a complementary business that will provide both brokerage and advisory, from the consultancy Towers Watson and Willis Group, today generating combined revenues of more than $8.2 billion. Aon meanwhile employs the largest global staff of the three firms, with 69,000 employees working across its approximately 500 offices world-wide.