EUROPE- Consulting firm Watson Wyatt is to buy the pension and actuarial group of KPMG in Ireland for an undisclosed sum.

The unit advises clients on occupational pension schemes and Watson Wyatt said the move comes as the consulting firm plans to expand in Ireland.

The move follows KPMG’s sale of its Swiss and Belgian consulting arms - to Mercer and Aon respectively – late last year.

“The purchase of KPMG’s Pension and Actuarial team confirms Watson Wyatt as Ireland’s second largest pension and actuarial consultancy,” the firm said in a statement.

A 10-member team will join Watson Wyatt as a result of the deal, taking the number of employees to 60. The team is led by Raymond McKenna, KPMG's head of pensions, and includes two senior actuaries, Paul O’Brien and Brian Mulcair.

McKenna, who will join Watson Wyatt as a partner, said: “Both KPMG and Watson Wyatt share a view and determination to be the best in their fields. Both firms have a commitment to provide a top class service to clients.”

Kevin Spring, managing consultant for Watson Wyatt in Ireland, said: “This acquisition is part of our commitment to expand our business in Ireland. The professional standards of KPMG and Watson Wyatt are very compatible.”

Denis O’Connor, Managing Partner of KPMG in Ireland, said: “This decision has been reached in the light of growing sophistication in the pension and actuarial advice required by clients and increasing independence requirements.”

Watson spokesman Bruce Wraight declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal.