UK consultants Bacon & Wood-row have teamed up with US consultants Callan Associates to form a joint venture which will specifically target multinationals with subsidiar-ies in Europe and the rest of the non-UK international marketplace. The aim is to challenge the investment consultancy operations of Frank Russell, Mercers and others in the European pensions market.

The new company, Callan Bacon & Woodrow, based in the UK, is currently awaiting IMRO approval, but a new board of directors has already been appointed who met for the first time in December. Heading up the new operation is Nick Fitzpatrick, head of the investment practice at Bacon & Woodrow in London, who is the new company's CEO. The chairman is Gordon Dickinson who heads up the investment consulting practice of Callan in Chicago, Nigel O'Sullivan, partner at Bacon & Woodrow has been appointed as business development director.

The new consultancy is eyeing Benelux, Switzerland and Scandinavia as its first major European markets, where Bacon & Woodrow al-ready has clients, but will not be ad-vising on actuarial issues, opting in-stead to concentrate on investment consulting. Multinational clients will receive a one-stop service which will comprise the structural modelling where we would expect that the Bacon & Woodrow liability and mathematical expertise would be a major contributor," says Fitzpatrick.

He is keen to stress that the company will not be following the same path as Frank Russell and Sedgwick Noble Lowndes who have diversified into fund management adopting the multi manager concept. "We are not trying to give ourselves any conflicts of interest at all," he says.

The consultants have been exchanging client names and performing cli-ent introductions over the past year and Bacon & Woodrow are seconding Mike Kinney, head of research over to San Francisco to pair up the fund manager databases. "We will both have access to each others databases," says Fitzpatrick, "But I would say that the Callan database is more fully stocked than the UK database. So we will benefit from more access to that." Rachel Oliver"