GERMANY – Industrial giant Siemens has hired BodeHewitt, the new venture between consulting firm Hewitt Associates and Bode Grabner Beye, as its pensions and actuarial consultant in Germany.

The move results in a loss for the incumbent manager, Mercer.

Under the mandate, the venture’s first, BodeHewitt said it would consult Siemens on the operation of its company pension plans and similar deferred benefits, with regard to labour, tax and trade law issues.

BodeHewitt will provide actuarial valuations to be included in Siemens’ annual financial statements.

“We are excited that Siemens is expanding its long-term good working relationship with Hewitt to include the German market as well,” said Piotr Bednarczuk, managing director of Hewitt’s office in Wiesbaden.

“We now have the opportunity to demonstrate our experience with German and international accounting and valuation principles,” he added.

Hewitt has provided pensions consulting to Siemens’ subsidiaries in the UK, the US and Canada for the last 20 years.

According to Siemens’ annual report, the total assets of the companies’ pension funds worldwide stood at €19.6bn at the end of last year. The report also said the pension funds’ funding deficit shrank to €1bn on December 31 2004 from €3.1bn from three months earlier.

Launched last month, BodeHewitt aims to provide the full range of occupational pensions consulting to local and international companies in Germany. This include benefits, investment consulting and pensions administration.

In doing so, BodeHewitt has pit itself against well-established domestic players like Heissmann, Heubeck-FERI on the one hand and international players like Mercer and WatsonWyatt on the other.