Franklin Templeton Institutional, a unit of Franklin Resources, today launched a new global consultant relations group. William Babtie was named director and global head of the new division, established to cultivate investment consultant relationships, said Bill Weeks, spokesman. "The number of searches that are actually controlled by consultants' decisions is rising," Mr. Weeks said. Previously, Franklin's institutional business development team managed the relationships, Mr. Weeks said. Mr. Babtie was Franklin Templeton Institutional's director of marketing for U.K., South Africa and international marketing services. Dennis Rothe and Michael Poremba, formerly vice presidents of U.S. institutional business development at Franklin Templeton Institutional, were named vice presidents of the global consultant relations team. Allison Shaw, previously a product manager in the institutional product management group at Franklin Templeton Institutional, and Matthew Philpott, previously a senior proposal specialist in the global RFP management team, were named managers in the new consulting group. The company is currently interviewing candidates to replace the five, Mr. Weeks said.