GERMANY - Funk Gruppe, Germany's biggest independent insurance broker, says it has acquired a majority stake in actuarial and pensions firm Böhm Consultants. Financial details were not disclosed.

Funk said Böhm's 60 employees would be joined with 40 of its own to create a new business line offering actuarial services and corporate pensions advice. Funk added that for the business line, to be called Funk-Böhm Consultants, it would be adding staff.

The new unit expects to have €13m in sales this year.

IPE reported last week that the firms were planning some sort of transaction.

Funk also said Claudius Jochheim, one its managing directors, would be co-heading the new business line along with Böhm founders Matthias Edelmann and Dirk Scheurich.

"The government's recent pension reforms along with globalisation mean that companies need qualified advice on corporate pensions. This is precisely the challenge that Funk and Böhm Consultants want to take on," Jochheim said.

Leberecht Funk, chief executive of Funk Gruppe, said the Böhm acquisition would transform the broker into "one of the leading German advisors on corporate pensions".

Hamburg-based Funk is not only one of Germany's biggest insurance brokers, it is also one of its oldest, having been started in 1879. Specialising in industrial and maritime cover, Funk employs 820 people and has 27 offices around Europe.

Based in the Frankfurt suburb of Dreieich, the pensions consultant Böhm has racked up around 300 clients, many of which are foreign companies doing business in Germany.

Examples include US technology firms Microsoft, Oracle, Sun Microsystems and Cisco Systems as well as the car makers Fiat, PSA (Peugeot) and Isuzu.