GLOBAL – Aon has completed its previously announced acquisition of Dutch actuarial consulting firm Consultas from ABN Amro for an undisclosed sum.

Aon Groep Nederland said in a statement that the acquisition of the Zwolle-based actuarial firm was effective from October 1.

It said that “nearly all” of Consultas’ 56 staff would become Aon employees and that it would continue to use the name for the time being. The move comes after Chicago-based Aon yesterday reported a 23% decline in global consulting profits.

When the acquisition talks were announced in July this year, ABN Amro said it was not making a loss on the deal and that the sale was part of the bank’s strategy to focus on core business.

“With this acquisition, we will strengthen the competitive position of the Aon Actuarial Advisory Group, which is part of Aon Consulting Nederland,” said Reinier Hinse, chairman of Aon Consulting in the Netherlands.

“Aon gives us the opportunity to grow through access to a large international network,” said Consultas’ managing director Hans Bosman. Bosman will retire and be replaced by Peter van Solinge, a director of Aon Consulting Nederland.

Aon said on Tuesday that its consulting profit fell by 23% in the third quarter, squeezed by what it termed a “challenging economic environment”.

It said pretax income in its consulting segment fell to 20 million dollars from 26 million dollars a year ago. The pretax margin fell to seven percent from 9.7%, hit by a change in the allocation method for centrally controlled costs.

“Consulting results have been pressured by the challenging economic environment, but I believe we are poised to improve our profitability in this business, especially if the employment picture begins to improve,” said chairman and chief executive Patrick Ryan.

Consulting revenue rose six percent to 286 million dollars. The company said benefits, compensation, management and communications consulting “achieved three percent organic revenue growth in a challenging environment”.

“Human resource outsourcing revenues declined eight percent on an organic basis due mostly to reduced headcount at many client organizations,” Aon said.
Overall, Aon’s net income rose to 140 million dollars from 121 million dollars. Total revenues rose seven percent to 2.4 billion dollars from 2.2 billion dollars.