Corrected on March 19
Towers Watson & Co. increased its U.K. investment consulting staff by 10% in less than eight months, riding a wave of growing interest in defined contribution plans and implemented consulting.
The consultant snared Emma Hunt — a Mercer LLC responsible investment and active ownership principal and head of responsible investment in Europe at Mercer — in February. Ms. Hunt became a senior investment consultant in Towers Watson's sustainable investment team.
Recruiting Ms. Hunt was perhaps the highest-profile of 35 positions added, said Paul Trickett, Europe, Middle East and Africa head of investment at Towers Watson in London.
“We've generally been filling out the team rather than picking up people at the top,” he said. Towers Watson has about 350 investment staff in the U.K.
Demand for DC consulting has risen with the increases in both complexity and number of plans, while the firm's resource-heavy implemented consulting business, which added £3 billion in new mandates in 2009, also has driven staff growth, Mr. Trickett said. Also added were manager research, sustainability and transition management experts.
Mr. Trickett expects staff growth to continue in the next year, but at a slower pace than in the recent past. Operations due diligence is one area targeted for growth.