UK - Watson Wyatt has made two new hires, from ABN Amro and the London Business School, for its investment strategy team.

The appointment of Kambiz Deljouie and Maurizio Abbruzzo, who will be based in Reigate, is in response to "increasing demand from pension funds for advice in this area, particularly relating to structured products (as part of liability-driven investment programmes) and risk management".
Deljouie joins from ABN Amro where he was head of structured risk finance while Abbruzzo has gained a Master in Finance degree from the LBS, prior to which he was a financial analyst in the banking supervision department at Banca d'Italia.

"These appointments underline our commitment to build our skill base and capacity in ground breaking areas such as derivative strategies and risk management," said Paul Trickett, European head of investment consulting. The hires take the firm's investment strategy to 34.

Last week the firm hired KPMG's Adrian Bourne as a senior consultant in its benefits practice.

Elsewhere, the government has confirmed that Pension Ombudsman David Laverick's contract runs out on August 31 2007 and the search for a successor will soon have to start.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman confirmed that Laverick's term of office will be ending and said that a successor for the job - which commands a £107,000 (€158,000) salary -will be selected through open competition.

Laverick became ombudsman in 2001. Recently, he had reported an increasing workload for his department which put the "resources of the office under very great pressure".