UK - Watson Wyatt has denied that staff are leaving en masse following its acquisition by its US affiliate Watson Wyatt & Co.

There has been a string of departures from the consulting firm – most recently Peter Brackett, who is to join Morgan Stanley - but the firm says there is no staff crisis. Recent leavers have included Mike Wadsworth, Peter Eerdmans, Brian Hill and Debbie Clark.

“While some investment staff have left, there have been no more than expected. Since the start of 2005 fewer staff have left than in the same period in 2004,” said spokesman Bruce Wraight.

According to Wraight the firm has continued to grow its client base, and is expecting several new senior appointments this month and at least 15 more investment consultant appointments by the end of the year.

Brackett has joined Morgan Stanley Investment Management as new head of international consultant relations, covering the UK, Europe and Asia.

Brackett, who worked for Watson Wyatt LLP for five years as a general consultation manager and as consultant for clients, will report to MSIM’s Hester Borrie, who heads sales for Northern Europe. He has already been pinned as a key figure in the firm’s drive for international business expansion.

“Peter’s extensive experience in the market and investment consulting background will be a considerable benefit to us moving forward,” said Borrie in a statement today.

Commenting on his appointment Brackett added, “This is an exciting opportunity to contribute to a business with strong growth potential. I am looking forward to contributing to the continuing expansion of its international business.”