Cardano commits to staying 'close to its knitting' as Lincoln rebrands

Cardano adopts ‘measured’ approach to future initiatives

Jonathan Stapleton
clock • 5 min read
Kerrin Rosenberg and Darren Redmayne
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Kerrin Rosenberg and Darren Redmayne

Cardano UK’s Kerrin Rosenberg and Lincoln Pensions’ Darren Redmayne talk to Jonathan Stapleton about the evolution of their business and the rationale behind a rebrand that will see Lincoln Pensions becomes Cardano Advisory.

Lincoln Pensions was founded as a covenant boutique in 2008 as part of Lincoln International and quickly became known for its covenant work - becoming one of the largest covenant advisers to UK defined benefit schemes at a time when trustees, sponsors and other stakeholders were increasingly seeking advice on increasingly complex pensions issues.

Lincoln joined Cardano in 2016, since when the areas on which it advises has expanded substantially.

As Lincoln Pensions chief executive Darren Redmayne notes: "A lot has developed and evolved since Lincoln Pensions was acquired in 2016 and there has been a very significant broadening of our service offering.

"In 2016, we were very much a covenant boutique, now we're a much broader advisory business - we've built out our restructuring group, we've built out our ESG services, we've built out our corporate side advisory practice and we've invested in advising around end game and journey planning. There is now a much broader advisory service set."

Kerrin Rosenberg CV

Position Kerrin Rosenberg founded and is chief executive of Cardano's UK team and has overall responsibility for the firm's UK business.

Previously Before setting up Cardano in the UK, Rosenberg spent 15 years as an investment adviser at Aon Hewitt. He graduated from the University of Manchester with a degree in economics and qualified as an actuary in 1995.

Cardano UK chief executive Kerrin Rosenberg says that Lincoln and the broader Cardano group have also increasingly worked together over the past five years.

Rosenberg says the most obvious area in which the two firms have collaborated is in the area of integrated risk management (IRM) - working together to produce guides, tools and workshops; collaborate with industry bodies and engage with The Pensions Regulator - joint work that is now morphing into efforts to look at journey planning as part of the regulator's new funding regime.

But Rosenberg says there have been other areas for collaboration too - notably with regards to ESG, where Cardano has done a huge amount of work on a group-wide basis, with Lincoln spearheading the firm's efforts on how to integrate ESG into covenant assessments, notably through its so-called MACCI (Methodology for Analysis Climate Covenant Impact) model.

Cardano has also brought Lincoln's credit analysis capabilities into its investment work - helping the business assess things such as the credit worthiness of LDI counterparty banks in addition to doing credit analysis on the corporate bonds Cardano is buying as part of its evolving cashflow matching solutions.

One Cardano

Rosenberg says such collaboration and collective thinking has led to the point where Lincoln Pensions will rebrand to Cardano - presenting a single name to the external world.

Redmayne agrees: "It feels very natural to become 'one Cardano' under the Cardano brand. And it's just evolved very naturally out of where we are. A single set of advisory, fiduciary management and investment management services, under the Cardano brand with best-in-class covenant and investment understanding; investment in technology and ESG."

The rebrand will see Lincoln Pensions being renamed to Cardano Advisory as the year progresses but both Redmayne and Rosenberg note the structure of the business will remain unchanged - with Redmayne becoming CEO of the Cardano Advisory business and legal entities remaining, barring the change in name, unchanged.

Rosenberg adds: "The organisation has grown together naturally over five years, it's now time for the brand to catch up."

Going forward

Looking to the future, Cardano says it will be "measured" in terms of new initiatives over the coming years - noting its existing business is already growing, particularly in terms of fiduciary management, ESG and the advisory work, adding it wants to focus on the areas where it feels it can really add value.

Rosenberg says: "We will be very measured in focus. We're not trying to become an organisation that has a million irons in the fire, and lots and lots of flags all over the map. Because just fundamentally, we want to stay close to our knitting."

Darren Redmayne CV

Position Darren Redmayne is the chief executive of Lincoln Pensions, the business he helped to create in 2007 when he founded the London office of Lincoln International. Lincoln Pensions became part of the Cardano Group in 2016 and is rebranding to Cardano Advisory in 2021.

Previously Redmayne trained as a chartered accountant with the insolvency team at Deloitte in the mid-1990s. He joined Close Brothers' corporate finance division in 1998, becoming a managing director in 2006. Following a secondment to The Pensions Regulator, he founded Close Brothers' pensions advisory business before leaving to found Lincoln Pensions.

Having said that, Rosenberg notes the firm is very mindful of switch from DB to DC - noting that the business would need to re-orientate and diversify its client base over the next decade as a result of the shift and adding it would be no surprise if Cardano decided to do more on DC beyond auto-enrolment.

He also said the firm was constantly looking at a range of "possibilities" - such as developing more ESG specialist services, further broadening the advisory work it does, or developing work in the derivatives space.

Rosenberg explains: "Our core business has good embedded growth within it and there are lots of interesting opportunities in peripheral and adjacent markets but we are just going to be focused and measured in terms of what we do - I think you should expect to see us do one or two new things over the next five years, but not more than that."

Redmayne agrees but predicts the next decade will also see the firm expand the way it uses technology in the solutions it provides.

Lincoln already has its PensionSim and MACCI models and has also just launched a technology tool called PensionSketch, which allows trustees and sponsors to plan long-term in regards to their journey planning.

He adds: "The next 10 years will see us fully benefit from the sort of investment we're making in leveraging technology."

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