FRANCE - Vincent Puche, head of Hewitt Associates' Paris investment practice, has left the firm (adds investment).

The move - a "joint decision" - follows the appointment of Laurent Termignon as French country head earlier this year. Termignon took up his post in May.

Puche "has left the company at the beginning of August," said Christel Delaunay, spokeswoman for the firm.

Finance Arbitrage, the French investment consulting business Puche had built up, was taken over by Hewitt in 2002.

Hewitt has not yet appointed his successor. "We are undertaking a search for a replacement for Vincent to fill the practice leader and senior client advisor role for the French investment consulting practice starting immediately," said the firm.

The French practice, representing about 15 employees, will consider both internal and external candidates. It is so far unclear what Puche has planned for the future, said Delaunay.

Elsewhere, Hewitt consultant Claire Gilmour has left to join Fidelity International's institutional consultant relations team.
"We have invested in our team to meet the increasing interest we are seeing from consultants both here in the UK and those that research Fidelity globally. Claire has a background of researching fixed income managers," said Martin Harris, Fidelity's managing director of UK defined benefits. Hewitt confirmed she's "moved on".

Earlier this month, Hewitt announced the appointment of Russ Fradin as a new global chairman for Hewitt; he will take up his position on September 5.