Towers Watson, a New York-based professional services company, has increased its shareholding in South African actuarial and employee benefits consultancy Fifth Quadrant to 51%.

The move is in line with a definitive agreement reached between Fifth Quadrant and the consultant in March 2011 and the companies first agreed to a strategic alliance in June 2008.

Fifth Quadrant founding managing director Ant Lester said that over the years their relationship with Towers Watson has significantly enhanced the service they can provide to clients, including global companies with operations in southern Africa, as well as enabling them to advise southern African firms on global best practice.

"This is a further definitive step in that relationship and we look forward to joining the Towers Watson family and their greater involvement in the development of our business in the future," added Lester.

Towers Watson regional manager of EMEA Paul Morris said that they are delighted to have reached this stage in their relationship with Fifth Quadrant as it cements an already excellent strategic fit with the two companies sharing similar values of innovation, commitment to clients and collaborative working.