Chris Ford (pictured), Towers Watson’s head of investments for the EMEA region, has been promoted to oversee the company’s global investment business.

Ford, who has been at the firm for more than 20 years and took over the EMEA investments business in 2010, will replace Carl Hess, who is to become managing director for the Americas.

Hess, who was appointed global head of investments in 2008, also joins the consultancy’s executive committee.

Roger Urwin will remain as global head of investment content.

Towers Watson said a decision on who would head its EMEA investment business had not yet been taken, and that the process of appointing a successor to Ford would begin shortly.

He is to take on his new role with immediate effect, the company said.

Hess replaces Jim Foreman as managing director of the Americas – Foreman will now lead the company’s expanded exchange solutions business.

Ford was appointed head of the EMEA in November 2010 after a range of positions, and quick promotions, across Towers Watson.

This included heading up the New York investment practice in 2000, after 10 years with the firm.

He then became responsible for the investment strategy team in 2004, back in the UK, and joined the EMEA executive committee and the global practice management team in 2007 and 2008, respectively.

Ford oversaw the separation of Towers Watson’s investment advisory arm and its fiduciary management business in 2011.

On the announcement of Ford’s promotion, managing director of risk and financial services Tricia Guinn described him as an extremely talented individual well placed to succeed Hess.

“Chris has proven himself to be very capable – both strategically and operationally – at propelling the business forward and delivering strong growth and excellent results for our clients,” she said.