Hewitt Associates Inc. will acquire Ennis Knupp & Associates Inc., creating a global investment consulting heavyweight with nearly $3 trillion in assets under advisement, according to executives from both firms.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The combined investment consulting business will be called Hewitt Ennis Knupp. The move marks Hewitt’s second involvement in industry consolidation in just over a week. On July 12, executives from Hewitt and Aon Corp. announced that Aon will buy Hewitt for $4.9 billion in cash and stock.
“We’ve been looking for some time to grow our capabilities around the world, especially in the U.S.,” and Ennis Knupp was just a “wonderful fit for our firm,” said Ari Jacobs, North American retirement strategy and solutions leader for Hewitt.
In a separate interview, Stephen Cummings, Ennis Knupp’s president and CEO, likewise said Hewitt was a perfect fit with his long-term plans for Ennis Knupp’s business.
Richard Ennis, a leading figure in the investment consulting industry who helped found Ennis Knupp 29 years ago, will retire, Jacobs said.
Cummings said that more than two years ago, he laid out “a pretty aggressive long-term vision” for Ennis Knupp’s board, with the goal of transforming a U.S.-focused firm into a “leading global provider of investment consulting services.”
Cummings, who will be the CEO of Hewitt Ennis Knupp, said the synergies between the two firms extend beyond the U.S.-international combination. Ennis Knupp has spent the past five years developing expertise in alternatives areas, including private equity, real estate and hedge funds, with capacity to serve more clients in those areas. Hewitt hasn’t built up its capabilities to the same extent and has a number of clients looking for more advice, he noted.
Cummings will report to Mary Moreland, Hewitt’s North American retirement and investment consulting leader. Other senior executives, including Bradley Smith, the leader of Hewitt Investment Group, will serve as principals, reporting into Cummings.
Jacobs said there are no plans to reduce staff, outside of a few overlapping support roles. He said Ennis Knupp’s 42 equity holders unanimously agreed to be bought out.