The surge of expansion among consultants in Europe has meant an increase in consultants present in various markets offering similar services. Sedgwick Noble Lowndes (SNL) recently reacted to this by redefining itself with the set up of one of the first European centres of excellence" in Paris, regardless of uncertainties surrounding the French pension law. The next markets look to be Spain and Italy. SNL already has offices in Milan but is looking to invest more in the subsidiary, viewing it very much as a growth area. The company was formed in 1993, following the acquisition of Noble Lowndes by Sedgwick and its merger with Sedgwick Consulting Group. Its services are split into five categories: actuarial, administration, financial services, healthcare services and retirement consultancy. The company operates in 90 locations in Europe, North America, South Africa, Australia and Asia, employing 4,000. SNL has followed in the footsteps of Frank Russell by entering the controversial multi-manager industry. The funds division was formed mid-1997 to attack the UK DB market using a tracked approach on asset allocation and is already implementing "lifestyle asset distribution" schemes for its DC clients, the smaller to medium sized funds. Later this year SNL will be looking to expand this operation into continental Europe, with Italy as a possible first stop."