Towers Perrin Europe

THE SCOOP

HR and beyond

Towers Perrin is a global professional services firm that helps organisations improve their performance through effective people, risk and financial management.  The firm provides innovative solutions in the areas of human capital strategy, programme design and management, risk and capital management, reinsurance intermediary services, and actuarial consulting.  Through offices and alliance partners in the United States and Bermuda, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, the firm’s human capital group aims to help employers manage their staff in the areas of benefits, compensation, employee research and change management, among others.  Its reinsurance business provides reinsurance strategy and program review, claims management and program administration, catastrophe exposure management, market security consulting and contract negotiation and placement.  The firm’s risk and financial services business offers consulting, actuarial services and software solutions to insurance and financial services companies.  It also advises clients on risk financing and self insurance.

Towers Perrin's foundations


Established in Philadelphia in 1934 as Towers, Perrin, Forster & Crosby, the company’s initial focus was on life insurance and reinsurance.  Offices in Chicago and New York followed in the 1940s, and the life insurance division became the pension division, an obvious focus for the firm, considering H. Walter Forster, one of its founders, had developed the first-ever pension plan in 1916 for Union Carbide.  The division began publishing the TPF&C Pension Tax Manual, now a standard reference (and a rollicking good bedtime story, to boot) on pension tax law for the IRS.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the company branched out overseas, opening offices in Montreal, Brussels and London.  It was in the 1960s, as well, that it began establishing a niche in HR consulting.  Over the following decades, the company grew both internally and through acquisition, taking on Tillinghast in a 1986 merger.  The following year, Towers Perrin was declared the “umbrella name†for the company.

Take your partner by the hand

Towers Perrin extends its global reach through an alliance network of more than 15 entitiesâ€"all of which are based outside of North America.  These include the likes of Greco International, a Vienna-based actuarial and benefits consulting firm, which partnered up with the consultancy in June 2006.  Well placed for serving the Central European market, Greco has clients in Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia.  Nearby in the region, the company has partnerships with HRK Partners and Trio Management, both Polish HR consultancies.  Other partners are located throughout Europe, as well as in the Americas, Asia and other parts of the world.

You scratch my back …

Aside from, but parallel to, its acquisitions and partnerships, Towers Perrin has been engaged with the business and technology solutions company EDS (now owned by HP) since 2005, in a joint venture known as ExcellerateHRO.  The collaborative business combines Towers Perrin’s administrative solutions with EDS’ payroll and HR outsourcing services.  This dual service arrangement allows clients to align their HR and business objectives with minimal loss of time and financial investments.

THE LATEST ON TOWERS PERRIN

Two become one
June 2009

In a deal that will establish the world's largest consultancy dedicated to HR and employee benefits, Towers Perrin agreed a merger with Watson Wyatt.  Billed as a "merger of equals," the deal will create a company with some 14,000 employees, expected to rake in some $3.2 billion in revenue in its first year.  According to industry analysts, the deal is a reflection of the downturn in business associated with the recession; both companies had seen revenue fall off as clients cut spending and brought certain HR functions back in-house.  According to a Watson Wyatt spokesperson, the two firms will continue as separate entities until the deal officially closesâ€"an event scheduled for the end of 2009â€"at which point the new entity will be known as Towers Watson & Co.

Cherry-picked
April 2009

The firm sold its Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise HCM practice to New Jersey-based CherryRoad Technologies.  The sale sees the transfer of several Towers Perrin consultants and customers to CherryRoad.  The consultancy didn't comment in the media on any specific reason for the sale.

Stepping into the future of HR
April 2009

The firm announced that it had developed a "rigorous and actionable measurement framework" for human capital metrics.  Aimed at helping HR managers make better decisions about investing in practices and programmes to enhance productivity, the framework has four key categories: human capital productivity (both financial and industry-specific measures); talent management (how well employees are attracted, engaged, retained, etc.); total labour cost and rewards effectiveness; and HR function performance.

All data collected by the firm is collated in industry-specific databases, which are open to subscribers to enable them to use existing data and metrics to assist in the decision-making process.


Middle East expansion
March 2009

Towers Perrin opened an office in Dubai, heralding its arrival in the Middle East.  The firm opened a regional headquarters, from which it will serve clients in the region.  Of particular interest to the firm, it would appear, is Abu Dhabi; the company held a client event there, in addition to one in Dubai to mark the opening of the office.

A milestone without candles
February 2009

The firm celebrated its 75th anniversaryâ€"provided the act of putting out a press release can be considered "celebration", that is.  However, considering the turbulent economic climate, that's probably not surprising.  CEO Mark Mactas was quoted suggesting that Towers Perrins' best days weren't behind them: "It's an exciting time to be a part of Towers Perrin," he said, "and we look forward to continue working with our clients around the world to help their businesses thrive and prosper."

Risk champions
November 2008

Chartis Research named Towers Perrin to its top-100 list of risk technology vendors, and singled the firm out as the "winner" in the insurance field.  Chartis cited the consultancy’s "breadth and depth of functionality combined with strong professional services and thought-leadership" as the key reasons for winning the honor.

Where were you before the recession?
July 2008

The firm created Towers Perrin Capital Markets Ltd., a new, wholly owned subsidiary that will advise clients in capital markets.  Specifically targeting areas such as risk-linked securities, retirement risk transfer transactions and asset risk management services, the timing of the unit is either incredibly responsive to the economic meltdown, or incredibly unfortunate.  Based in London, the group is just one of two independent companies announced by Towers Perrin on the same day.  The otherâ€"Towers Perrin Capital Management Inc.â€"is based in New York, and offers many of the same services to American clients as the London-based company does to those in Europe.


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Towers Perrin Europe


71 High Holborn
London WC1V 6TP
Phone: 44-20-7170-2000
www.towersperrin.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Private
  • CEO & Chairman: Mark V. Mactas
  • 2009 Employees: 7,000

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