Hewitt Expands Investment Consulting Reach

With the ink not yet dry on its merger nuptials with Aon, Hewitt Associates has announced a new acquisition.

The global human resources consulting and outsourcing company today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire EnnisKnupp, a provider of investment advisory services to large institutional investors.  Last Monday, Hewitt and Aon announced a merger of the two consultancies (see  

According to the announcement, the acquisition looks to boost Hewitt’s existing investment consulting capabilities in the U.S. and support its global growth plans. Under the terms of the agreement, Hewitt will acquire EnnisKnupp, which provides a wide range of investment consulting services to corporations, public funds, endowments, foundations, non-for-profits and Taft-Hartley plans. Once this transaction is complete, Hewitt says it will be one of the largest providers of investment consulting services in the U.S. and in the world, with nearly $3 trillion in assets under advisement.

Two great names in investment consulting are joining forces to offer an expanded set of services to our valued clients,” said Russ Fradin, chairman and chief executive officer of Hewitt Associates. “EnnisKnupp’s highly regarded advisory capabilities and impressive client portfolio are a perfect complement to Hewitt’s well-respected actuarial business and extensive expertise in managing pension risk. Our commitment to be a top-tier global investment consulting player and the potential to combine forces with EnnisKnupp were also real positives for Aon in our proposed transaction.”

Hewitt Investment Group (HIG), Hewitt’s existing investment consulting practice in the U.S., specializes in advising defined contribution, defined benefit, endowment and foundation clients on investment management, pension risk and asset allocation solutions. Currently, EnnisKnupp’s 135 Chicago-based employees provide investment advisory services to 167 clients. HIG already serves 120 clients from offices in five major U.S. cities.

Steve Cummings, currently president and chief executive officer of EnnisKnupp, will lead the integrated Hewitt|EnnisKnupp operation reporting to Mary Moreland, Hewitt’s North American Retirement and Investment Consulting Leader. Steve will head up the U.S. leadership team comprised of principals from both organizations, including Bradley Smith, current leader of Hewitt Investment Group, and Russ Ivinjack and Steve Voss, principals at EnnisKnupp. Ian Peart, currently head of Global Manager Research at Hewitt, will lead the Global Manager Research function for the combined organization.

“As institutional investing becomes increasingly complex, organizations are looking for an advisor that has global reach and solid experience across actuarial, pension risk, plan administration and investment consulting services,” said Steve Cummings, president and chief executive officer of EnnisKnupp. “Together, we can meet the needs of a broader range of clients while staying true to our shared promise of exceptional client service with the highest levels of integrity and professionalism.”  

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approval, is expected to close during Hewitt’s fiscal 2010 fourth quarter.