EUROPE – KPMG has sold Swiss and Belgian consulting operations to Mercer and Aon respectively.

Mercer Human Resource Consulting has bought the Swiss benefit consulting business of KPMG for an undisclosed sum. The move follows the sale of KPMG Actuaries in Belgium to Aon Consulting, also for an undisclosed sum.

Mercer said in a statement that it has a definitive agreement with the shareholders of KPMG Benefit Consulting to acquire their consulting business in Switzerland.

The agreement includes KPMG’s operations in Zurich and Geneva and will see Mercer gain 24 staff. With the acquisition, Mercer will have around 100 staff in Zurich and Geneva.

KPMG spokesman Mark Hamilton confirmed that the group had sold the 20-person Belgian operation, under Anne Claes, to Aon. Aon Consulting spokesman James Wood confirmed the sale was effective from November 1.

The deals follow a series of acquisitions of European consulting businesses by the US-based companies.

In November Mercer agreed to buy parts of Scandinavia-based Benefit Network and Benefit Network Consulting. In September it took on up to 38 pension staff in a deal with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Germany. In April it bought the German actuarial services division of KPMG.

Meanwhile, Aon bought Netherlands-based Consultas from ABN Amro in November.

KPMG’s Urs Schaffner will head up the merged Mercer-KPMG entity while Mercer’s Cameron Hannah will be Swiss country head.

"With this transaction, Mercer is greatly strengthening its presence and expertise in the Swiss market,” said Edouard Merette, Mercer’s executive vice president of European operations.

He said Mercer was responding to higher demand for actuarial, investment and pensions and benefit program consulting and outsourced benefit administration in Switzerland.