Bacon & Woodrow, Europe's largest firm of independent actuaries, is merging two of its divisions, the firm's Employee Benefits and Insurance Practices, with global consultants.

The Insurance Practices is to be merged with Deloitte & Touche and the Employee Benefits will be merged with Hewitts.

The firm, which generates about £100m in revenues, believes the move will enable both parts of the firm to service global clients better and compete strongly for consulting services on an international stage in their respective markets.

The new insurance business, to be known as B&W Deloitte, will add significantly to Deloitte's existing actuarial consulting capabilities.

It will enable the firm to provide a broad range of services to leading financial and healthcare organisations throughout Europe.

The merger will also give the insurance actuarial business greater access to capital to rapidly develop and enhance specialist systems to support these organisations.

Separately, the Employee Benefits practice, including Investment Consulting, plans to join with Hewitt Associates, a leading global management consulting firm specialising in human resource solutions.

Both firms will begin immediately to work closely together towards formal integration.

The formal separation of Bacon & Woodrow's Employee Benefits and Insurance practices is planned to take effect from May 1, 2001.