Benefits consulting firms Mercer and Callan Associates are creating a mega investment consulting shop, as the two have announced plans to merge their operations.

Mercer, a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Cos. based in New York and with 18,000 employees, will acquire Callan, which employs 170, in an effort to strengthen its U.S. presence in the investment consulting space, as well as its position on a global scale. Callan is independently owned. The transaction is expected to close within the first quarter of this year, and the new firm will be known as Mercer, officials at both shops told IMW.

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