UK – Sue Douse, the former partner at Watson Wyatt who left Schroders after less than a year, has joined a new merchant bank as its London head.

Douse, 44, has joined Grail Partners, a new Boston-based merchant bank specializing in investment management.

“Sue’s understanding of non-US investment management companies and markets, products and business strategies, is unmatched,’’ said Grail founder Don Putnam, who previously co-founded investment bank Putnam Lovell NBF.

“My goal is to extend our strategic relationship with non-US clients, assist our UK clients in the alternative investments arena, and seek incubation opportunities outside the US,’’ Douse said.

Douse left Watson Wyatt, where she was head of the global asset study, in March 2004. She went to Schroders as global head of product management and consultant relations but left later that year. "It's been an interesting journey," Douse told IPE in an interview.

She said the new firm would focus on 'transformational change' at asset management firms. Putnam had previously worked on deals such as the AXA Rosenberg and Allianz-Pimco transactions.

Douse said she would be looking to hire people in London, and that the firm is looking at having around 25 staff in total within a few years.

The partners in the firm, Putnam, Douse and Darlene DeRemer, are funding the venture with their own capital.