US - Watson Wyatt Worldwide, adviser to many of the world's largest pension funds, has reported a jump in revenues from its investment consulting division by over 50% in the last three months of 2006.

Globally, the division earned $32.5m (€24.9m) from October to December, up from $21.2m in the last quarter of 2005.

Total revenue for the group was $366.4m, of which almost $200m came from benefits consulting, the company's core business in the US, its biggest market.

Investment consulting is relatively much stronger in the UK, where Watson Wyatt advises one-third of FTSE 100 companies on their pension arrangements.

John Haley, president and chief executive officer, described the rise as a highlight of the quarter's figures, noting "significant demand for advice on better aligning pension plan assets with future obligations, involving complex risk-based strategies."