Mercer is to acquire Cardano, a transaction it says will position it as “the pension provider of choice in the UK and the Netherlands” but also allow it to expand to serve other asset owners.

The terms of the transaction, which is expected to close near the end of 2024, subject to regulatory approvals, were not disclosed.

Founded in 2000, $66bn (€61bn) Cardano offers fiduciary management, investment advisory services, and liability-driven investing and derivatives solutions to defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) pension schemes in the UK and the Netherlands, the two largest pensions markets in Europe.

Mercer is one of the largest investment consultants and fiduciary managers of UK pension schemes.

As part of the agreement, Cardano’s roughly 550 employees – in London, Nottingham and Rotterdam – will join Mercer upon completion of the transaction.

Michaël De Lathauwer, Cardano Group’s chief executive officer, said Mercer was “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,” he added.

Michael Dempsey, Mercer’s wealth president, said Cardano would be joining Mercer’s wealth business and that the “acquisition and alignment of our expertise and capabilities represents a unique and timely combination to support pension clients and other institutional investors and their evolving needs”.

Benoit Hudon, Mercer’s UK president and CEO, said the acquisition would “position Mercer as the pension provider of choice in the UK and the Netherlands”, adding: “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.”

Through NOW: Pensions, Cardano operates the third largest UK master trust platform, serving more than two million savers across 27,000 employers.

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