Aon agreed to sell its pension consulting, pension administration and investment consulting businesses in Germany to consultant Lane Clark & Peacock as the firm seeks to secure clearance from the European Commission for its merger with Willis Towers Watson.
In a news release Monday, Aon said the deal with LCP "resolves questions raised by the European Commission with respect to the markets in which these businesses are active." The commission has been investigating competition issues related to the Aon-WTW merger since December.
WTW and Aon announced plans to merge in March 2020. The all-stock $30 billion deal aims to create an $80 billion firm.
The transaction with LCP is due to close later this year — at the same time as the completion of the deal between Aon and WTW, the LCP spokeswoman said. Both transactions are still subject to approvals by the European Commission.
Terms of Aon's deal with LCP were not disclosed.
LCP is also acquiring Aon's pension insurance brokerage business in efforts to diversify into a new market with long-term growth potential, an LCP spokeswoman said. All four businesses that LCP is acquiring are run by Aon Solutions and Aon Pension Insurance Broking in Germany.
The businesses, which employ 350 people and are led by Fred Marchlewski, CEO of Continental Europe, Middle East and Africa, will be rebranded as LCP upon completion of the deal. The size of the assets that are being acquired was not disclosed. LCP has £330 billion ($465 billion) in assets under advisement.
Aaron Punwani, CEO of LCP, said in news release: "The business we are acquiring is well-respected and has a strong blue-chip client base, complementing that of LCP in the U.K. and Ireland. The German pensions consulting market is extremely well-placed for innovation and growth as businesses review their pensions strategy with a greater focus on funded and insured solutions, and it is ripe for a technological transformation of the type that LCP has delivered for its clients in the U.K. and Ireland in recent years."
Greg Case, Aon's CEO, added in the release: "This agreement demonstrates further momentum on the path to close our proposed combination with Willis Towers Watson. We recognize the significant contributions these colleagues have made on behalf of our clients during their time with Aon. LCP shares with us a culture of innovation and excellence and we know these colleagues have a positive future at LCP."
Monday's deal follows a May 12 announcement that Willis Towers Watson agreed to sell reinsurance business Willis Re, excluding its operations in China and Hong Kong, and a set of Willis Towers Watson's corporate risk and brokerage businesses as well as health and benefits services to insurance, risk management and consulting firm Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. These agreed sales also form part of the effort to secure the European Commission's approval for the merger.