Mercer acquires pensions consultancy Cardano

13 June 2024 Consultancy.uk 2 min. read
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Marsh McLennan, the parent firm of pensions consulting giant Mercer, has announced it is expanding its international footprint by acquiring Cardano. The UK-based consultancy will bolster Mercer’s offering to defined contribution and defined benefit retirement plans.

Mercer is a business of professional services firm Marsh McLennan. It employs more than 20,00 workers in 43 countries with operations in 130, and is the largest pensions consultancy by revenue in the UK. In its 2023 financial year, Mercer recorded an income of £677 million. Earlier in 2024, it was also named as a top performer within the pensions consulting niche by Consultancy.uk – obtaining a diamond rating in the segment.

As Mercer looks to build on this advantage and consolidate its dominance in the UK pensions advisory sphere, it has confirmed the addition of Cardano to its ranks. Terms of the transaction parent company Marsh McLennan completed were not disclosed, and the deal is still subject to regulatory approvals. However, it expects those to be obtained by the end of the year – at which point almost 550 employees will join Mercer across Europe.

Mercer acquires pensions consultancy Cardano

“Our combined talent and capabilities will position Mercer as the pension provider of choice in the UK and the Netherlands,” said Benoit Hudon, Mercer’s UK president and CEO. “This will allow us to continue to expand globally beyond pensions to serve other large asset owners, including endowments and foundations, family offices and insurers.”

Cardano has been in operation since 2000, Cardano has offices in London, Nottingham and Rotterdam. The consultancy specialises in supporting long-term savings, overseeing approximately $66 billion in assets under management, offering fiduciary management, investment advisory services across the UK and the Netherlands – the two largest pensions markets in Europe. It also supports clients with liability-driven investing and derivatives options to DB and DC plans.

Across the continent, this means Cardano currently assists more than two million long-term savers at 27,000 employers. That includes supporting savers via its pensions advisory product, NOW: Pensions, is the UK’s third-largest master trust platform.

The move doesn’t just boost Mercer’s capabilities, though. It also provides Cardano with unique opportunities to reach new international clients, as part of a global pensions consulting leader. Looking ahead, a release from the firm noted optimism for becoming part of “one multi-disciplinary team”, and helping the combined company’s clients “navigate the evolving pension and investment landscape”.

Speaking on the move, Michaël De Lathauwer, Cardano’s CEO, added, “Mercer is the ideal long-term home for our business and clients. We share an aligned culture with Mercer, focused on delivering excellent outcomes for clients, and together, we are committed to being the best solutions provider for UK and Dutch pension schemes.”