GERMANY - The need for strategic investment consulting, including asset-liability studies, will grow among German institutionals, according to the German heads of newly-branded Hewitt Associates.

The former Bode Hewitt institutional consultancy has now been fully merged into the Hewitt Associates group and has adopted the new name in Germany since the beginning of January.

"The pensions business, which had been run by Bode Hewitt, is now integrated into various departments and with the full integration into Hewitt Associates we expect growth in this business," said Olaf Petersen, one of the three joint managing directors of Hewitt's German operations.

"Studies on strategic asset allocation, including ALM, will grow as risk management standards introduced by the German supervisor BaFIN are also encouraging smaller pension funds to have these studies done," he added, noting it is the larger retirement vehicles which, in the main, make use of such services at present.

That said, consultants are still not as frequently used by German institutional investors In the field of manager search and direct investment decisions as in other countries, said Niels Rasmussen, the other managing director on the board apart from Georg Thurnes.

So Hewitt's German offices are not expected to be offering consultancy services for asset manager search or direct investment consultancy and is not planning to do so in the near future.

"In these areas consultants are still not being used frequently as investors make these decisions themselves, and many have not diminished their in-house teams as other investors abroad have done," he explained.

Petersen further added: "We have traditionally had little demand for it from our clients".

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