Carl Hess was named director of Watson Wyatt Investment Consulting's North American practice effective July 1, according to a news release from parent Watson Wyatt Worldwide. He will succeed Howard Crane, who will step down from the role on June 30 and officially retire from the business on Dec. 31. "The U.S. investment consulting practice has seen rapid growth during the past few years under Howard's leadership, and it is now well-positioned for future expansion," said Roger Urwin, global head of investment consulting at Watson Wyatt. Mr. Crane became practice director in 2001. Mr. Hess, who joined the firm in 1989, was investment consulting practice leader for Watson Wyatt's New York office, said spokesman Ed Emerman. Mr. Hess will be replaced by Carl Stroud, a consultant with the firm since 2003.