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LCP buys in Belgium

Lane Clark & Peacock has bought Ernst & Young’s actuarial practice in Belgium – which it says is the first stage of a plan to boost its pan-European service.
LCP, part of South Africa-based Alexander Forbes group, said in a statement that it has acquired Ernst & Young Belgium’s actuarial consulting and IT business. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The move follows KPMG’s sale late last year of its Belgian actuarial consulting arm to Aon Consulting. Accounting firms have faced potential conflicts of interest over their actuarial practices.
“It’s obviously new territory for us,” says LCP partner Tony Cunningham, adding that Belgium was one of several “clear gaps” in the firm’s international network. “We see having a European capability as being very important.”
“You can’t afford to have gaps in your coverage,” he says. He declined to comment on what other areas the firm lacked coverage.
“This acquisition represents the first stage of a project to significantly strengthen LCP’s pan European service,” LCP says.
Under the terms of the deal LCP will take on 15 fee-earning specialists, while support functions would continue to be outsourced to Ernst & Young. The staff will remain in the same offices in Brussels.
Peter Bastiaens remains head of the practice, renamed Lane Clark & Peacock Belgium, and will become a partner of LCP. He will report to the firm’s operating board.
Cunningham was not able to provide a client list for the new unit, but said it comprises insurance companies as well as employee benefit clients.
Bastiaens says: “It was important to the actuarial team that we found an organisation with the same values and services standards as Ernst & Young. In LCP, we believe we have found a perfect partner to enable us to further develop our services in Belgium.”
LCP made a 1.8m (E2.6m) contribution to Alexander Forbes’ trading profit in the six months to the end of September, with revenues of £14.5m.

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