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German consultant Bode looking for partners

GERMANY - Bode Grabner Beye, a German actuarial and benefits consulting firm, is actively seeking an international partner following the recent dissolution of its 22-year-old joint venture with Watson Wyatt.

Christoph Bode, managing director at BGB, told IPE from Munich that his firm was in talks with “several international partners” regarding possible cooperation in the German market. He declined to disclose their names.

Bode also said that as his firm was very well positioned in the market, it was “under no pressure” to find a partner.
BGB’s move follows the recent dissolution of Wyatt Bode Grabner, a joint venture it set up in 1982 with Watson Wyatt.

The joint venture had provided actuarial and benefits consulting to both multi-national German companies and foreign companies with operations in Germany.

But the joint venture collapsed late last year when Watson Wyatt decided to go it alone in the German market, opening a new office in Munich. At the time, Watson Wyatt said the move was a result of the big new pensions market created by government reforms.

Watson Wyatt also managed to poach 11 staff members from Wyatt Bode Grabner for its new office, including Susanne Jungblut, the joint venture’s former managing director. Jungblut is now in charge of occupational pensions at her new employer.

According to Jungblut, Watson Wyatt in Munich has got off to a good start, having acquired about 20 additional international clients in the benefits area since last winter and having nearly doubled the number of benefits consultants since its start.

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