Watson Wyatt Worldwide has hired Mark Brugner to be responsible for manager research in Asia based in his office in Hong Kong.

BrugnerÆs appointment is in line with a restructuring of Watson WyattÆs global research team. The restructuring follows efforts to streamline the consulting firmÆs methodology for manager research into a consistent approach globally. Earlier this year, the firm launched a global quantitative research and investment systems group, led by Mark Beardall, which is now partly responsible for the quantitative aspects of strategic asset allocation and investment manager selection.

The new structure includes four global leadership roles and four regional leadership roles. All the team leaders report to global head of manager research Craig Baker, who also serves as global head of fund research. Martin Knowles is global head of equity research, Margaret Frost is global head of bond research, while Jane Welsh, is global head of private markets research.

Aside from Brugner, regional teams are led by Janice Fritz-Snyder in North America, Paul Jayasingha in Europe, and Hugh Dougherty in Australia. Brugner joins from Innovest in Austria, where he was the head of manager research, selecting and hiring managers for a range of Austrian funds of funds. Prior to joining Innovest in 2000, he started his career with Bank Austria in 1998 as a controller and project manager for credit risk management.

ôOne of the key investment challenges of institutional investors is the continued search for excess returns from manager-skill,ö says Naomi Denning, head of investment consulting for Asia-Pacific at Watson Wyatt. ôThis addition to our manager research team clearly demonstrates our commitment in helping clients find the right manager-skill.ö

Watson WyattÆs global manager research team has more than 130 investment consultants who conduct approximately 2,500 formal research meetings a year with investment managers globally. The consulting firm has around 65 dedicated full-time staff in its manager research teams.