GERMANY – Consulting firms Heubeck and FJA are merging to exploit opportunities in the German pensions market.

Consultancy firm Heubeck and consulting and software house FJA said they plan to merge to become a leading provider of consultancy and IT services in the field of pension provision and insurance in Germany.

Heubeck specialises in company pension provision, while FJA specialises in insurers and financial service providers. The new company formed by the merger will be called FJH AG, and will have over 1,000 employees and revenues of around 140 million euros.

The deal was valued at around 10 million euros in shares plus cash.

They say they hope that the new company will exploit the rapid growth presently occurring in the pension provision market in Germany.

Says Klaus Heubeck, chairman of the management board of Heubeck: “With the decline of statutory pension insurance and the authorisation of new forms of provision through the Riester reform, this market offers additional potential in terms of both supply and demand. We shall exploit this potential together.”

Experts predict that the field of company pension provision in Germany alone will see an increase in additional premium volumes from around four billion euros in 2002 to between 20-30 billion euros in 2008, says FJH.

Demographic developments, pension reform and the introduction of the Riester-Rente, combined with a growing awareness of the need for additional pension provision will lead to a marked rise in demand for new consulting and software solutions, FJA says.

The new FJH Group will also be looking for further expansion in foreign markets. Through FJA's subsidiaries, the company is already represented with branches in central Europe and the US, while Heubeck's co-operation partner EURACS offers global contacts.

As a result of the transaction FJA AG is acquiring a 100% holding in Heubeck AG. The purchase price consists of a significant participation in FJH AG, i.e. 570,000 shares coming out of an approved capital increase, as well as an adequate amount in cash.

Within the FJH Group Heubeck AG will remain an independent business unit and retain its strong brand name. Heubeck's current management will continue to manage the company. At the same time, Dr Klaus Heubeck and the present members of FJA's management board will form the board of FJH AG.