CYPRUS - Hewitt Associates says it has opened a new office in Nicosia, headed by consultant Philippos Mannaris.

The office, opened with the firm's Greek affiliate, brings the number of European countries in which Hewitt has operations to 17.

Hewitt has worked with Cypriot clients for over 20 years, but said that "a marked increase" in demand for retirement and benefits advice has prompted the decision to open the office.

Mannaris, who joined the firm in 2003, said: "This is a great opportunity to concentrate on our Cypriot clients and to broaden the range of services we already have available. 

"We will be offering a full range of retirement and actuarial services, including funding and accounting valuations, plan design and implementation as well as advice on merger and acquisition issues."

Roger Parkin, Hewitt's European head of consulting, said: "Hewitt has long worked with clients in Cyprus so it is particularly pleasing that we are now expanding our offices to include one in Nicosia. 

"We have seen an increasing range of organisations seeking our advice in the Cypriot market and now the EU Pension Fund Directive is also leading to a wide range of new opportunities."