GLOBAL – Alan Whalley, the former European managing partner at Watson Wyatt LLP who went on to a senior post at Watson Wyatt & Co. in the US, has left the firm unexpectedly.

Whalley left his role as US region manager on Friday, according to an internal memo from president and chief executive John Haley, seen by IPE.

“We appreciate Alan's contributions over the last 28 years, most notably as Managing Partner of Watson Wyatt LLP and as US region manager,” the note stated.

In the meantime, US “matrix” members would report to Haley, who will be recruiting Whalley’s replacement in the coming weeks. He anticipated announcing the new person in January.

Whalley was managing partner of Watson in Europe from 1999 to May 2004 when he was succeeded by Babloo Ramamurthy. He went to Washington – reporting to Haley - taking over the US role from Charles Wood.

Whalley’s move was at the time, before the US group bought its European affiliate, the first transfer at such a senior level between the two firms.

A number of senior figures have left Watson since the acquisition, such as Mike Wadsworth, Peter Eerdmans, Brian Hill, Peter Eyre, Debbie Clark and Peter Brackett. But the firm has denied there is a staff exodus.