Watson Wyatt has promoted Patrick Huang as managing director for Greater China based in Shanghai. He replaces Frank Gallo, who is retiring. Gallo had run the Greater China business for three years, and had served at Watson Wyatt for a total of 15 years in Asia and the United States.

Gallo is returning to his home in Los Angeles but is also going to become a professor at Capital University of Economics and Business in Beijing. He will lecture on human resources for the university's MBA program.

Huang, who will oversee all of Watson Wyatt's businesses in Greater China, including areas such as investment and human resources, has spent the past 15 years running the Taipei office, which he opened. His remit will now extend to Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. His brief includes boosting the profitability of the mainland businesses to meet the Hong Kong and Taipei levels, as well as continuing his role as a management consultant (the firm calls it 'organizational transformation'). He reports to Chuly Lee, the firm's Asia-Pacific regional director.

Huang's appointment coincides with the upcoming launch of the firm's China retirement benefits practice. This new business will be announced on September 24th.

In addition, Watson Wyatt has also appointed Doreen Thang as its first head of a new research unit established in Singapore. Watson founded the Asia-Pacific Research and Information Centre (ARIC) in March; the Singaporean government co-funded the project via the Singapore Economic Development Board.

Watson Wyatt already has similar programs in the United States and the United Kingdom, and wanted to bring this kind of expertise to this region. "It supports anything related to research and data, which is a big part of our business," says a spokeswoman.

Thang joins from the planning and research unit of the Ministry of National Development in Singapore, before which she lectured on real estate at the National University of Singapore.