UK - Watson Wyatt has hired Standard & Poor's director of pension services Jim MacLachlan as a senior investment consultant.

MacLachlan was instrumental in launching the S&P's defined benefit pension rating system in 2004, though the firm lost out to rival Dun & Bradstreet to provide ratings to the new Pension Protection Fund.

Richard Hall, head of the pensions project, assumes MacLachlan's responsibilities, an S&P spokesman said.

MacLachlan is the 14th appointment Watson Wyatt has made for its specialist full-time manager research team over the last year and it will not be the last Paul Trickett, European head of investment consulting, told IPE.

"Yes, there will be more appointments. We are in a growth phase and there is demand for manager research services and therefore we have to increase the number of people doing this particular type of work. Also generally within Watson Wyatt we are hiring and will continue to announce new hires."

"Jim brings tremendous pensions experience with him, having deep knowledge of both corporate sponsor issues and asset management.

"We look forward to him joining us at what is an exciting and very busy time as clients seek to implement ever more competitive and complex investment strategies."

Last month Watson Wyatt Worldwide reported "robust demand" for investment strategy and fund manager selection services amid an 18% increase in revenues at its investment consulting group.