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 complete later in 2019 following Now Pensions’ authorisation by The Pensions Regulator as part of its ongoing master trust authorisation process.
Now Pensions anticipates transferring its investment management mandate from Now Pensions Investments (NPI) in Denmark to Cardano’s UK-based fund management team.
The acquisition brings together Cardano’s investment experience in the defined benefit and defined contribution markets with Now Pensions’ auto-enrolment platform and administration capabilities.
Following completion of the acquisition, Cardano will manage more than £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 firm Lincoln Pensions in October 2016.
In a joint statement Theo Kocken and Michaël De Lathauwer, co-CEOs of Cardano, said: “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.”
Troy Clutterbuck, chief executive of Now Pensions, said: “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.”
Nigel Waterson, chair of the trustee, Now Pensions Trust (NPTL) added: “The trustee directors are delighted that Now Pensions has found a new home with Cardano.
“This is an exciting time in the development of Now Pensions.
“As well as gaining access to their expert investment team, our members will benefit from Cardano’s wealth of experience in technology and aligned commitment to good governance.”