Hewitt to buy Northern Trust retirement arm

US - Hewitt Associates has agreed to buy Northern Trust’s US-based retirement consulting and administration business, with the two companies signalling a closer working relationship.

Consulting firm Hewitt and banking group Northern Trust said they have signed a letter of intent for Hewitt to acquire “substantially all” of the assets of Atlanta-based Northern Trust Retirement Consulting, which has annual revenues of around 74 million dollars.

They have also agreed to work together as “preferred providers” in each firm's core area of expertise. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in June.

Colin Mayes, spokesman for Hewitt’s European subsidiary Hewitt Bacon & Woodrow, said the transaction would have little direct European impact.

The continued penetration of target markets was one factor of a growth strategy outlined by Hewitt chairman and chief executive Dale Gifford at a conference last month.

The NTRC business provides nearly 200 companies and more than one million participants with defined benefit, defined contribution and retiree health and welfare administration services. “The arrangement also covers retirement consulting and actuarial services, including plan design and communication.”

"Our acquisition of NTRC represents an additional growth opportunity for our outsourcing and consulting business," said Bryan Doyle, global business leader, HR and benefits outsourcing services at Hewitt.

Rick Waddell, president of corporate and institutional services at Northern Trust, said: “The arrangement advances our long-term strategy to focus our own resources on the areas where we can serve clients best."

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