Morneau Shepell to buy Mercer's US large market health and DB pension plan admin unit

07 May 2019 2 min. read
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Toronto-based HR consultancy Morneau Shepell has announced an agreement to acquire Mercer’s standalone large market health and defined benefit pension plan administration business in the United States. The acquisition cost is approximately US$57 million.

Founded in 1966, Morneau Shepell delivers technology-enabled services that support employees’ mental, physical, social, and financial well-being. The firm’s offerings include employee and family assistance, health and wellness, recognition, pension and benefits administration, retirement and benefits consulting, actuarial, and investment services.

The consultancy has nearly 5,000 employees across North America, the UK, and Australia, and works with approximately 24,000 clients.

In 2012, Morneau Shepell acquired Mercer’s benefits administration and large market pension administration business in Canada. Morneau Shepell has now decided to purchase the HR consulting giant’s large market health and defined benefit pension plan administration business in the US.

Morneau Shepell buys Mercer's US large market, health, and DB pension plan admin unit

Through the US$57 million acquisition, Morneau Shepell expects to gain 73 of Mercer’s large market health and DB pension plan administration clients in the US (approximately 1.9 million plan participants). The deal will also see the consultancy gain the experienced teams servicing that client base.

"This planned acquisition is in line with our strategy to grow our business profitably in the US market and further solidify Morneau Shepell as a leading provider of health and DB plan administration across the United States," Stephen Liptrap, president and CEO of Morneau Shepell, said. "I am looking forward to welcoming our new employees to Morneau Shepell. With their support and the support of our current staff, we will have the capacity and expertise to deliver exceptional services to our newly acquired clients."

Mercer will still deliver large market health and benefits administration and mid-market DB pension administration services when bundled with consulting and brokerage services such as Mercer Marketplace 365 and 365+.  Mercer will also still provide large market health and benefit administration services to global clients with US-based employees.

"We expect the transition to Morneau Shepell to be seamless," Louis Gagnon, president of Mercer US and Canada, said. "We will work collaboratively with Morneau Shepell to ensure the ongoing delivery of quality service to our clients and their employees."

The Canadian consulting firm last year acquired employee well-being services firm LifeWorks and its integrated digital platform built around employee assistance programs, employee engagement, rewards and recognition, and HR communications.