Mercer-Callan Deal Abruptly Called Off

Six weeks after announcing Mercer would acquire Callan Associates to form one of the largest investment consulting operations, the two firms announced Monday that the deal was off.

A brief statement from the firms Monday noted that the two organizations “mutually agreed to terminate their February 17, 2009 agreement,” but offered no explanation for the abrupt turnaround.

“Mercer and Callan said that they are committed to continuing to grow their respective businesses as independent firms and that each respect one another as competitors,” the companies said in the joint statement. “All Callan and Mercer client relationships will continue under their existing respective contractual agreements and consulting teams.”

Under the February deal the combination of the New York-based Mercer and the San Francisco-based Callan would have resulted in an approximately 1,270-employee organization (see “Mercer Acquires Callan in Investment Consulting Consolidation).

According to the February announcement, the transaction had been expected to close near the end of the first quarter of 2009. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.