UK – Stephan Breban, a Watson Wyatt senior consultant and partner in charge of the private equity management research team, is to leave the firm at the end of March to set up his own business called City Capital Partners.

Breban is the third consultant to leave the private equity team, which caters for up to 20 big European institutional investors, since December.

A spokesman for the consulting firm said that Breban, whose work involved general consulting as well as private equity management research, will leave Watson Wyatt amicably.

Jane Welsh, also a senior consultant and partner, has been appointed to take over from Breban and has already started taking over Breban’s responsibilities. Welsh has worked as a consultant for the last 20 years and has spent 13 years of her career with Watson Wyatt.

She told IPE she had started working in the private equity team 18 months ago.“ I am enjoying it very much,” she said.

Welsh is heading a seven-strong global team, including four consultants based in the UK, one in Canada and three in the US. As well as European institutional investors, the team assists between 15 and 20 US institutional investors.

“We are very much a global team,” she said but conceded that the Breban’s recent decision to leave and the departure of consultants Brian Lim and Paul Wharton, between December and January and “did not sound too clever”.

Lim and Wharton have respectively joined a private equity and a property found of fund. They have not yet been directly replaced.

Welsh said the team was going to recruit a new member with experience of private equity, to meet the interest in the asset class, which has been growing in the last two years.

“We are doing a lot of trustee training on the subject and then they decide if they want to invest in this area. It is important that we have the resources in place to be able to grow ahead of this,” she said.

Breban was not available for comment.