Cardano Group, including NOW: Pensions, to be acquired by Marsh McLennan’s Mercer

11th June 

Mercer, a business of Marsh McLennan (NYSE: MMC) and a global leader in redefining the world of work, reshaping retirement and investment outcomes, and unlocking real health and well-being, today announced that it reached an agreement to acquire Cardano.  

Founded in 2000, Cardano is a long-term savings specialist in the UK and the Netherlands, with approximately £52 billion ($66 billion) in assets under management1. Terms of the transaction, which is expected to close near the end of 2024, subject to regulatory approvals, were not disclosed.  

Cardano offers a range of fiduciary management, investment advisory services, and liability-driven investing and derivatives solutions to both defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) pension schemes in the UK and the Netherlands, the two largest pensions markets in Europe. Cardano adopts a differentiated model, offering a combination of direct investment capabilities and external manager selection, as well as deep pension expertise, a solutions mindset, and a long heritage in sustainability.

Through NOW: Pensions, Cardano operates the third largest UK master trust platform2, serving more than two million savers across 27,000 employers, and with leadership in the structurally growing auto-enrolment market.   

“We are excited about the opportunity to welcome Cardano to our Wealth business, which brings with it a high-quality team and complementary range of specialist investment capabilities,” said Michael Dempsey, Mercer’s Wealth President. “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.”   

“Our combined talent and capabilities will position Mercer as the pension provider of choice in the UK and the Netherlands. 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,” said Benoit Hudon, Mercer’s UK President and CEO. “As always, our aspiration is to drive even greater value for our institutional investor clients and help deliver brighter futures for millions of savers.”  

“Mercer is the ideal long-term home for our business and clients,” said Michaël De Lathauwer, Cardano Group’s CEO. “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. I am thrilled our clients and colleagues will have access to everything Mercer offers, including global resources, a deep bench of investment talent, strategic advice, manager research and alternative investment advice. We look forward to being one multi-disciplinary team and helping our clients navigate the evolving pension and investment landscape.”  

As part of the agreement, approximately 550 Cardano colleagues in London, Nottingham and Rotterdam will join Mercer, upon completion of the transaction. 

– ENDS –

Notes to Editors

About Mercer  

Mercer believes in building brighter futures by redefining the world of work, reshaping retirement and investment outcomes, and unlocking real health and well-being. Mercer’s more than 20,000 colleagues are based in 43 countries and the firm operates in over 130 countries. Mercer is a business of Marsh McLennan (NYSE: MMC), the world’s leading professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people, with more than 85,000 colleagues and annual revenue of $23 billion. Through its market-leading businesses including Marsh, Guy Carpenter and Oliver Wyman, Marsh McLennan helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment. For more information, visit Follow Mercer on LinkedIn and X.  

About Cardano    

Founded in 2000, Cardano is a privately-owned investment management and advisory business with a focus on risk and sustainability. Widely recognised as a market leader, its c. 550 professionals support pension schemes and other long-term savings organisations in the United Kingdom and Europe (predominantly in the Netherlands) to secure better, resilient, and more sustainable financial outcomes for savers, employers, and wider society.   

  • Advisory: A specialist provider of pensions advisory services, including covenant, sustainability, strategic investment issues, risk transfer, and corporate and regulatory events, serving over 350 scheme and corporate clients. Its scheme clients have aggregated assets of over £400bn.    
  • Investment Management: A purpose-built investment advisory, investment management and fiduciary management provider, with a leading sustainability offering, serving long-term savings clients and pension schemes with risk management requirements. Cardano has £52bn of assets under management and £22bn of assets under advice as of December 31, 2023.  
  • Defined Contribution: Cardano manages over £20bn in DC assets across the UK and the Netherlands. In the UK, it operates NOW: Pensions, an award-winning3 UK workplace pension provider, serving over 2m members and tens of thousands of employers from a wide range of industry sectors.

About NOW: Pensions

NOW: Pensions is an award-winning UK workplace pension provider. We look after the pension savings of millions of members on behalf of tens of thousands of employers from a wide range of industries.
We have a clear mission – to help everyone save for a more financially secure future. This means achieving the best financial outcomes for our own members, while fighting for a fair pension system to enable all pension savers to enjoy the retirement they deserve. We do this by highlighting pension inequalities and campaigning for change.

We are the UK’s third largest auto enrolment pension provider by number of members.
NOW: Pensions is proud to support the Spring PRI Initiative for nature, taking an active role to halt and reverse global biodiversity loss by 2030.

NOW: Pensions is part of the Cardano Group. Cardano Group is a market leader in providing risk and investment management services designed to make pension outcomes more stable and robust.

For more information, please contact: 

Samantha Gould 
+44 (0) 7827 355 518

Samantha Reeve 
+44 (0)7776 535 780

1 As of December 31, 2023

2 By number of members, as of December 31, 2023