United Kingdom

Aon is lead trustee adviser on £3.8 billion buyout for the Asda Group Pension Scheme with Rothesay Life

LONDON (18 October 2019) - Aon plc (NYSE:AON), a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, has acted as trustee adviser on the purchase of a £3.8 billion full scheme buyout with Rothesay Life by the Trustee of the Asda Group Pension Scheme.

Through this transaction, the Asda Group Pension Scheme secures the long-term security for the benefits of c.12,300 members. Aon was the lead settlement and actuarial adviser to the Trustee for the transaction, supporting the Trustee in preparing for and structuring the transaction, ensuring members’ benefits were insured in full and acting for the Trustee in all direct engagement and negotiations with the insurance market.

Mike Edwards, partner at Aon, said:
“We are very proud to have supported the Trustee in achieving such a high degree of security for their members’ benefits through this buyout. This was a highly bespoke transaction, not least due to the size of the scheme and the liability profile, achieved against the backdrop of the busiest ever year in the bulk annuity market and an uncertain political environment. The collaborative approach between all stakeholders was crucial to achieving such a successful outcome.”

Dominic Grimley, principal consultant at Aon, said:
"We are extremely pleased to have been a lead adviser on the two largest full scheme buyouts to be completed in 2019. These transactions demonstrate the growing prominence of full scheme buyouts in the bulk annuity market. This transaction was made possible by robust negotiation with the insurance market, the development of a number of innovative features and putting in place a bespoke governance structure which enabled all parties to make effective decisions throughout the process.”

Phil Dennis, senior partner at Aon and scheme actuary to the Asda Group Pension Scheme, said:
“We have been the adviser to the Trustee for a number of years and now to have helped them secure this buyout and to achieve such a positive outcome for their members is a very satisfactory conclusion. The relationship we have developed with the Trustee, the in-house pension team and their other advisers has enabled us to work closely together in safeguarding members’ benefits.”

Richard Phillips, Chairman of the Trustee Board to the Asda Group Pension Scheme, said:
"We are delighted to have completed this transaction successfully, securing all members’ benefits, in what has been a period of heightened market volatility. Aon’s expertise and experience were critical to helping us achieve this and I would like to thank them for their support.”


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Notes to Editors

About Aon

Aon plc (NYSE:AON) is a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions. Our 50,000 colleagues in 120 countries empower results for clients by using proprietary data and analytics to deliver insights that reduce volatility and improve performance.

Aon announced in May 2018 it will retire the business unit brands of Aon Benfield and Aon Risk Solutions, which follows the retirement of the Aon Hewitt business unit brand in 2017. This move was designed to increase the rate of innovation across the firm and make it easier for colleagues to work together to bring the best of Aon to clients. Aon has five specific global solution lines: Commercial Risk Solutions, Reinsurance Solutions, Retirement Solutions, Health Solutions and Data & Analytic Services.

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