BT, Andersen join forces for HR service

British Telecommunications PLC (BT) and Andersen Consulting announced plans yesterday to form a joint venture to provide outsourced human resources (HR) services with an internet component. The company, called E-Peopleserve, is initially intended for BT and Anderson's internal HR needs, but will later be marketed to other large companies.

"Andersen had been looking at doing a similar thing, we had too, and we realised it would make sense to co-operate," said BT spokeswoman Aileen Boughen. "We both have skills that complement each other, and obviously we have customers we'd like to serve too."

Boughen said the new company would offer management of HR functions like payroll, pension administration, training and recruitment. It is expected to be launched this northern summer, pending European Commission regulatory approval, she said.

Andersen spokeswoman Rachel White added that the new company will focus on recruitment over the internet, though she added that details have yet to be worked out at this early stage.

E-Peopleserve will be half-owned by each parent company. According to the statement, it will concentrate at first on the UK market before expanding internationally.

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