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Mercer to buy PwC's Canadian pension windup business

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Mercer L.L.C. said Thursday that it has agreed to purchase PricewaterhouseCoopers L.L.P.'s pension windup administration business in Canada.

Mercer expects to complete the acquisition — terms of which were not disclosed — by the end of the third quarter of this year, at which point it will fold in PwC's Canadian windup staff into its offices in Toronto.

Based in New York, Mercer is the benefits consulting arm of Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc.

“This is an excellent fit for Mercer Canada, as it enhances our own successful business in pension windups,” Paul Forestell, senior partner and market retirement leader for Mercer Canada, said in a statement. “The transaction is also evidence of Mercer's commitment to Canada and to investing in the expansion of our retirement consulting business.”

Pension windups typically occur on the heels of a defined benefit pension plan sponsor's declaration of bankruptcy. In those cases, regulators appoint a qualified third-party firm as an administrator to oversee the windup of the plan.

Additionally, windup administration services are available for employers that voluntarily decide to end their pension plans.

“Moving our pension windup practice to Mercer is consistent with our long-term strategy, positive for (the Financial Services Commission of Ontario) and provides a great opportunity for our pension windup team,” Christopher Kong, national managing partner of PwC's tax practice in Canada, said in a statement. “We are delighted to see our pension windup practice find a new home with an organization such as Mercer.”