GLOBAL – Watson Wyatt Worldwide says it investment consulting revenues rose 2% in the second quarter – driven by pension funding strategy and manager performance consulting.

The division’s revenues were $18.5m in the quarter, up from pro forma revenues of $18.2m a year before, which reflect the acquisition of its European affiliate.

It said the rise was down to “an increase in consulting on pension funding strategies and portfolio manager performance issues.”

Total revenues rose 5% to 315.8m from pro forma $299.8m before. Income from continuing operations was $17.2m from $11.1m.

Investment consulting makes up 6% of the firm's overall business.

“Given the increasing global importance of retirement issues and the rethinking of health care benefits and executive compensation, we expect our solid performance to continue in fiscal 2006,” said chief executive John Haley.

“Various factors have prompted the most widespread reassessment of defined benefit plans in decades.”

The firm said retirement consulting revenues were up “due to increased demand form existing clients around plan design and administration as well as revenues from new clients”.

Revenues for fiscal 2006 were expected to be in the $325-330m range.