UK - Consultancy firm Watson Wyatt Worldwide is creating a quantitative research and investment systems group in an attempt to combine its various quant offerings into one team.

Mark Beardall was recently appointed global head of the new group, and Jagdeep Singh Bains has been recruited from Barclays Global Investors (BGI), where he was European head of transition portfolio management in the last five years, to work as senior investment consultant based in London.

A spokesman told IPE the consultancy wants to pull together all of its quantitative analysis in risk management, strategic asset allocation and assessment of investment managers into one offering.

According to the spokesman, it is "not unthinkable" Watson Wyatt will add further new recruits to the new group, complementing a team that already includes Yakoub Yakoubov, leading the asset liability modelling research, Peter Keutgens, responsible for manager research quant, and Duncan Morgan, who will run the investment systems team.

In March financial services research house Aite Group said around US$6.65trn (€4.27trn) or one-eighth of all global assets under management (AuM) were driven by quantitative analysis in 2007, and suggested figure will grow to 14% or $10.86trn by 2010.

Sang Lee, managing partner at Aite Group, conducted analysis of the entire investment market for a report, entitled The World According to Quants: From Alpha Discovery to Execution.

She noted while it is difficult to assess exactly how much investment business is conducted using quants analysis, figures indicate the approximate figure was 12% of all AuM last year, but this will continue to climb with the opening of competition and technology development, use of cross asset class funds and with the widening use of quants for data crunching by traditional fund management houses.

Consultancy houses such as Mercer and Hewitt do not yet have their own unified global quants teams in place.

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