Ascensus Closes Newport Merger Agreement

Ascensus Closes Newport Merger Agreement

Leading Provider of Tax-Advantaged Savings and Related Services Will Serve More Than 15 million Savers with Expanded Technology, Solutions, and Expertise

Ascensus—whose technology and expertise help millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—and Newport, the Walnut Creek, California-based retirement services provider—announced today that the two companies have closed their previously announced merger, the first step in their journey together as a combined organization.

The union combines the capabilities and talents of two market leaders in tax-advantaged savings and related services, serving more than 15 million savers and overseeing more than $745 billion in assets under administration as of December 31, 2021. Together, the unified company employs more than 5,400 employees across the U.S.

David Musto, president and chief executive officer of Ascensus, will serve as CEO of the combined company. Laura Ramanis, who has served as interim CEO of Newport since the announcement of the transaction last fall, and Kurt Laning, executive vice president of Newport Non-Qualified and Insurance Solutions, will join the Ascensus executive leadership team, reporting to Musto.

“With today’s announcement, Ascensus and Newport have taken an important step in our journey towards a stronger, unified company,” said Musto. “Clients across our lines of business will benefit from our expanded capabilities—accelerated investments in technology, data analytics, and user experiences—and broadened expertise. And both Ascensus and Newport associates can look forward to new opportunities for personal growth and enhanced career development.”

“Ascensus and Newport share a passion for helping people save for their futures and supporting the growth and success of our partners,” said Ramanis. “We look forward to continuing that mission as a combined company.”

With industry-leading qualified and non-qualified retirement plan services, corporate and bank-owned life insurance (COLI and BOLI) practices, fiduciary and trust solutions, and other total rewards capabilities, Newport expands the services and expertise Ascensus provides to its clients and advisor partners. Newport’s clients will benefit from greater access to unique tax-advantaged savings solutions across retirement, education, and health provided by Ascensus. The combined company’s investments in technology, digital capabilities, and analytics will deliver enhanced value to clients, expand client relationships, and create even better outcomes for savers.

Both the Ascensus and Newport brands remain in use at closing, with the Ascensus brand representing the unified company.

“Our goal over the next several months is the successful unification of our company—built on the principle of ‘best of the best’ and our shared cultural attributes, and executed with the interests, quality, and stability of our client relationships foremost in mind,” added Musto. “As a unified organization, Ascensus and Newport share a strong commitment to serving our clients and offering more—across the tax-advantaged retirement, education, and health savings expertise for which Ascensus is known, and capitalizing on Newport’s well-established qualified and non-qualified retirement services, and fiduciary and COLI/BOLI capabilities as well.”

Evercore acted as exclusive financial advisor to Newport in connection with the transaction.

Goldman Sachs Bank USA, SPC Financing Company LLC, and KKR Capital Markets LLC led the financing consortium.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acted as transactional counsel to Ascensus and Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as financing counsel to Ascensus. Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP acted as legal counsel to Newport.

 

About Ascensus

Ascensus helps millions of people save for what matters—retirement, education, and healthcare. Through co-branded, private-labeled, and other governmental partnerships, our technology, market insights, and business knowledge enhance the growth and success of our partners, their clients, and savers. Ascensus is a leading recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. For more information, visit ascensus.com.

 

About Newport

Headquartered in Walnut Creek, California, Newport is a leading retirement services provider that helps employers—and the advisors who serve them—prepare employees for a more financially secure retirement. The company has more than $150 billion in retirement assets under administration and more than $300 billion in corporate retirement and insurance assets. Newport maintains investment objectivity, fee transparency and a commitment to flexible, responsive service. Staffed by an exceptional team of nearly 1,500 retirement, insurance, and consulting professionals, the company provides retirement solutions tailored to the needs of employers of every size, from small businesses to the Fortune 1000. Visit newportgroup.com.