NETHERLANDS - Consultancy firm Watson Wyatt Worldwide will take over its Dutch alliance partner Watson Wyatt Brans & Co, the firm announced today.

"A definitive agreement is expected to be signed in the first quarter of 2007," the US-based firm said.

Watson Wyatt merged with Dutch actuarial consultant Brans & Co in 1999, and has since operated as a separate partnership as part of Watson Wyatt Worldwide.

John Haley, president and chief executive officer of Watson Wyatt commented that the Netherlands is an important territory for the firm as "With its well funded pensions system, [the Netherlands] is a base for many multinational companies," he said.

There are 180 associates located in offices in Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Nieuwegein, Purmerend and Rotterdam, but no job losses are expected.

"The firm does not expect any major changes in the way it operates," a spokesman told IPE.

Jobert Koomans, managing partner of Watons Wyatt Brans & Co said in a statement that the move was a "natural progression of our long alliance".

The firm wants to integrate its resources and expertise within a single global operation to service clients which are growing ever more global, according to Koomans.

However, the company said that Watson Wyatt Insurance Consulting would continue to operate a separate insurance and financial services consulting business in the Netherlands.