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Cardano Group agrees acquisition of Now: Pensions

Investment management specialist Cardano Group has today agreed to acquire 100 per cent of workplace pension provider Now: Pensions from Danish pension fund, Arbejdsmarkedets Tillaegspension.

Now: Pensions is the UK’s third largest auto-enrolment provider, serving over 30,000 businesses and 1.7 million pension savers.

The acquisition is expected to be completed later this year following Now: Pensions’ authorisation by The Pensions Regulator as part of its ongoing master trust authorisation process.

A report from TPR at the beginning of February said the long running administrative bungle at the provider – where thousands of members did not have contributions invested – has been resolved.

Now: Pensions anticipates transferring its investment management mandate from Now: Pensions Investments in Denmark to Cardano’s UK-based fund management team, subject to completion of due diligence by the trustee.

The acquisition brings together Cardano’s investment skills and experience in the defined benefit and defined contribution markets with Now: Pensions’ auto-enrolment platform and administration capabilities.

The combined business will create a full-service platform for growth as the UK’s workplace pensions market gathers momentum and DC solutions develop in multi-employer master trust environments.

Following completion of the acquisition, Cardano will manage over £25bn of assets and employ 350 people across its core markets of the UK and the Netherlands.

The acquisition is Cardano’s second in the UK following the acquisition of covenant advisory specialist Lincoln Pensions in October 2016.

Cardano co-chief executives Theo Kocken and Michaël De Lathauwer says: “In a short space of time, Now: Pensions has grown to become one of the leading players in the auto-enrolment market. Bringing Cardano and Now: Pensions together is transformational for our group.

“It is an investment in the future of UK pensions, enabling us to grow and diversify our client base. We believe our combination of pensions risk management and investment skills, together with Now: Pensions’ enormous potential creates a ‘new force’ across the UK pensions landscape.”

Now: Pensions chief Troy Clutterbuck says: “In Cardano we have found a like-minded organisation, with a long-term commitment to the UK pensions market, that offers a great fit with our business. Workplace pensions in the UK are gathering greater momentum as the auto-enrolment regime matures.  Being part of the Cardano Group will bring significant benefits for our clients and members, giving us a fantastic platform to reach our full potential.”

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