GERMANY/GLOBAL - German consultancy Böhm - soon to become Funk Böhm Consultants - has joined Abelica Global, formerly known as Milliman Global, one of the largest networks of actuaries and consultants worldwide.

The German company which specialises in occupational pension consultancy is currently being rebranded as Funk Böhm Consultants after the large German insurance group Funk acquired a majority stake in the consultancy two years ago. (See earlier IPE article: Germany's Funk takes stake in consultant Böhm)

"We will be exclusively responsible for Germany and Austria within the network," Matthias Edelmann, managing director at Böhm, explained to IPE.

All companies remain independent within the network but they use each other's regional expertise.

Edelmann explained Funk Böhm was able to act in around seven countries around the world, but if a large international German-based company wants to set up a worldwide retirement strategy "we can now commission partners in the network" to cover countries outside the region.

He noted this was a different philosophy to that adopted by Mercer, Hewitt or Watson Wyatt which have all bought consultancies in Austria and Germany in order to gain local expertise. (See earlier IPE article: Hewitt strengthens presence in Austria)

That said, Edelmann added the strategy within the network was similar to those firms as Abelica "has an international team which meets on a regular basis".

"Böhm Consultants gives Abelica Global a strong presence in a key European market for employee benefits," said Dominique Piermay, chair of Abelica Global, in a statement.

"We are very happy to be represented in Germany by such a high quality firm. They are very innovative and client focused in their delivery of services."

Dutch consultants HV&P joined the network last year when it was still named after is founder the US-based Milliman consultancy - today the network's US-partner. (See earlier IPE-article: Dutch consultant HV&P joins Milliman)

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