EUROPE – Babloo Ramamurthy is to take over as managing partner of Watson Wyatt LLP from Alan Whalley, who is to become US regional manager of Watson Wyatt & Co.

Ramamurthy will be succeeded as European head of the benefits group by Mark Stewart, the current practice leader of the London benefits team. Stewart’s replacement has not yet been named.

Watson Wyatt LLP is the UK-based consulting firm allied through cross-shareholdings to the listed US company Watson Wyatt & Co.

The managing partner chairs the managing committee and is effectively the firm’s chief executive, a spokesman said.

Ramamurthy joined Watson Wyatt in 1977 after graduating from King's College, London with a degree in mathematics and has worked for Watson in New York. Stewart joined in 1992 and become a partner in 1997. He has been head of the firm’s defined contribution consulting team.

Whalley will transfer from London to Washington to become US regional manager of Watson Wyatt & Co. from May 1. He will report to John Haley, president and chief executive of Watson Wyatt & Co. He has been managing partner of Watson Wyatt LLP since January 1999.

"We are delighted by this transfer, which is the first to take place between Watson Wyatt LLP and Watson Wyatt & Co. at such a senior management level, and which we see as helping to further cement the close working relationship of the alliance," Haley said.

"Alan has been a very effective managing partner during a period of great growth and change for the firm," said Paul Thornton, senior partner of Watson Wyatt LLP. Thornton’s role is the equivalent to a chairman of a company.

Whalley will take over the US manager role from Charles Wood, who retired in October.