GERMANY - International consulting firm Towers Perrin has agreed to buy German occupational pensions advisor Rauser AG for an undisclosed sum.

Until now, Towers has largely focussed on human resource consulting in Germany, including occupational pensions. By acquiring Rauser, it can offer complete occupational pensions advising, including actuarial services, investment consulting and pensions administration.

It comes a day after IPE reported that Rauser had been hired by German engineering giant MAN to help it set up an external fund to finance €1.7bn in pension liabilities and advise on strategic asset allocation.

The deal combines Towers’ 290 employees in Germany with around 100 from Rauser. The two parties will operate offices in Frankfurt, Cologne and Reutlingen, near Stuttgart.

Rauser executives Rainer Wurzberger and Reiner Schwinger will also join Towers' management board in Germany, which is led by Michael Kramarsch.

Said Kramarsch: “Not only does the acquisition make us one of Germany’s leading consultants for occupational pensions, we have also become the only consultant which provides these services with fully-integrated human resource management.”

Towers Perrin’s acquisition of Rauser is the latest sign that international consulting firms believe that the long-awaited boom in German occupational pensions is finally beginning.

On Monday, Hewitt Associates formally launched a joint venture with Bode Grabner Beye, which, like Rauser, is a well-established German actuarial and pensions consultancy.

Meanwhile, Watson Wyatt is in the process of building an investment consulting team in Frankfurt that will be headed by Torsten Köpke who is joining the firm from institutional investment consultant FERI.

Watson Wyatt has already opened its own occupational pensions advising office in Munich after dissolving a 22-year-old joint venture with Bode in late 2003.

Mercer also offers the full range of occupational pensions advising from several offices in Germany, the premier one being in Frankfurt.