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Aon captures J&H in Germany

The onward march of US insurance services group, Aon into Europe continues relentlessly with the capture of Jauch & Hubener (J&H), Germany's number one insurance brokerage which has a substantial employee benefit consultancy arm.

Aon's existing German subsid-iary will be merged into a new company, Aon Jauch & Hubener, as will the brokerage and consulting activities in Austria, Switzerland and some Central European countries.

The new company will have revenues of $225m and 1,800 employees- in 1996 Aon in Germany had some 450 employees and revenues of $47m.

On the employee benefit side, J&H had around 100 employees and in 1996 revenues of DM21m ($11.8m) worldwide, including Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Germany is expected to be a key area of growth for the new company, as J&H were ranked number two in size to consultants Herbert Hofer, part of Wood-row Milliman.

Dieter Opperman of Herbert Hofer in Mulheim expects the main effects of the merger will be on the competitiveness of the marketplace. The competition will become harder with the broader base that J&H may have gained," he says. " In the employee benefits and consultancy areas, J & H are significantly smaller than us."

l The UK operation of newly branded Aon Consulting, formed by the merger of the benefits arms of Alexander Clay and Godwins, has outlined plans to use its London in-vestment consultancy as a springboard for European expansion.

Steven Mendel, principal at the London investment consulting practice says that European expansion is one aim of the new company's three year game plan. He explains that in the first place the expansion will be targeted at the more developed in-vestment markets. The new company already has an office in Amsterdam though its manager research will be co-ordinated from London.

Mendel says "It is something that must be planned very carefully. We will move into Europe using what we have learnt in London as a starting point for our research, hopefully picking up European clients while servicing our UK clients' European needs."

Mendel added that the company would also seek to promote its manager monitoring, asset liability modelling and benchmarking services.

"These are not bound by country boundaries and transfer very well into parts of Europe that have well defined investment management industries already."

Last month saw the global launch of the Aon Consulting brand name for the global benefits operation.

In Ireland, the new Aon firm, Aon Beech Hill, was formed by the merger of MacDonagh Boland Beech Hill and Alexander Clay. It is jointly owned by Aon Group and industrial conglomerate Jefferson Smurfit.

In the UK, the Aon-owned financial services businesses of Godwins, Alexander Clay and a third company Minet will continue to trade under their current names."

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