GLOBAL - Strong demand for investment strategy advice was behind a 36% increase in first-quarter investment consulting revenues at Watson Wyatt.

The company reported investment consulting group revenues (8% of total revenues) rose to $27.4m (€40.8m) in the first quarter of fiscal 2007, up 36% over prior-year, pro-forma revenues of $20.1m.

It said: "Revenues increased during the quarter due to a strong demand for all of our services, particularly investment strategy advice."

The number of investment consulting ‘associates' has grown to 370 from 320, out of a total payroll that now stands at 6,360.

The firm's total net income for the period rose to $24.8m from $13.9m, with pro-forma revenues up 11% at $336m.

"These results highlight our growing strength in the marketplace," said president and chief executive John Haley. "After an impressive fiscal 2006, we continue to build momentum. Our results and our brand have never been stronger."

"Once again, we saw consistently positive results across all of our segments. In particular, our Investment Consulting and Technology and Administration Solutions segments - two areas we've targeted for growth - delivered truly outstanding results."

Elsewhere, Lane Clark & Peacock has appointed Colin Haines and Claire Jones as senior consultants to its Winchester office. Haines joined in September from BAE Systems where he was a senior member of the pensions strategy team. Jones joins from Deloitte.

In other moves, Mercer Human Resource Consulting has appointed Will Carpenter as a senior associate within its Retirement business. He was previously at Garvins Consulting Actuaries.