Watson Wyatt Worldwide

Last updated

Watson Wyatt Worldwide, Inc.
Industry Consulting
Successor Towers Watson
Headquarters Arlington, Virginia , United States
Number of locations
106 offices (2009)
Key people
John J. Haley – President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board
RevenueIncrease2.svg US$1.68 billion (2009) [1]
Increase2.svg US$146 million (2009) [1]
Number of employees
7,700 (2009) [2]
Website WatsonWyatt.com

Watson Wyatt Worldwide, Inc. was a global consulting firm that merged in January 2010 with Towers Perrin to form Towers Watson. The firm's services included managing the cost and effectiveness of employee benefit programs; developing attraction, retention and reward strategies; advising pension plan sponsors and other institutions on optimal investment strategies; providing strategic and financial advice to insurance and financial service companies; and delivering related technology, outsourcing and data services. Its principal operating subsidiary, Watson Wyatt & Company, was a human capital consulting firm with operations in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. Its corporate offices were in Arlington, Virginia.

Management consulting is the practice of helping organizations to improve their performance. Organizations may draw upon the services of management consultants for a number of reasons, including gaining external advice and access to the consultants' specialized expertise.

Towers Perrin

Towers Perrin was a professional services firm specialising in human resources and financial services consulting, which merged in January 2010 with Watson Wyatt to form Towers Watson. The firm was a provider of reinsurance intermediary services and was active in the actuarial consulting arena with its Tillinghast insurance consulting practice.

Towers Watson & Co. was a global professional services firm. Its principal lines of business were risk management and human resource consulting. It also had actuarial and investment consulting practices. In January 2016, Towers Watson merged with Willis Group to form Willis Towers Watson.


In January 2009, Watson Wyatt had 7,700 employees in 32 countries around the world. [2] On June 28, 2009, it was announced that Towers Perrin and Watson Wyatt had agreed to merge into a new publicly traded company to be called Towers Watson; the merger was completed in January 2010.


Watson Wyatt Worldwide traced its roots back to the oldest actuarial firm in the world, formed in 1878. Watson Wyatt's first client was still a client 130 years later. [3]

Actuary Business professional who deals with the financial impact of risk and uncertainty

An actuary is a business professional who deals with the measurement and management of risk and uncertainty. The name of the corresponding field is actuarial science. These risks can affect both sides of the balance sheet and require asset management, liability management, and valuation skills. Actuaries provide assessments of financial security systems, with a focus on their complexity, their mathematics, and their mechanisms.

Reuben Watson formed the UK actuarial firm R. Watson & Sons in 1878. By the 1910s, the firm was the lead advisor to the government on social insurance programs. Over the years, the firm expanded throughout Europe, building on its long history of serving the UK’s largest companies.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

National Insurance

National Insurance (NI) is a tax system in the United Kingdom paid by workers and employers for funding state benefits. Initially, it was a contributory form of insurance against illness and unemployment, and eventually provided retirement pensions and other benefits. Citizens pay National Insurance contributions to become eligible for State Pension and other benefits. Anyone 16 years old and above are mandated to pay National Insurance provided the employee earns more than £162 a week or the individual is self-employed and makes a profit of £6,205 or more annually. It is necessary to obtain a National Insurance number before starting to pay contributions.

In 1946, B. E. Wyatt and seven co-founders established The Wyatt Company as an actuarial consulting firm. Over the next several decades, the U.S.-based firm branched out into other service lines, including health care and compensation consulting. In the 1980s, the firm broadened its global reach, establishing offices throughout Canada, Europe, Latin America, and Asia.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Health care Prevention of disease and promotion of wellbeing

Health care or healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of health via the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in people. Health care is delivered by health professionals in allied health fields. Physicians and physician associates are a part of these health professionals. Dentistry, midwifery, nursing, medicine, optometry, audiology, pharmacy, psychology, occupational therapy, physical therapy and other health professions are all part of health care. It includes work done in providing primary care, secondary care, and tertiary care, as well as in public health.

Executive compensation or executive pay is composed of the financial compensation and other non-financial awards received by an executive from their firm for their service to the organization. It is typically a mixture of salary, bonuses, shares of or call options on the company stock, benefits, and perquisites, ideally configured to take into account government regulations, tax law, the desires of the organization and the executive, and rewards for performance.

In 1995, the two firms formed a global alliance under the brand Watson Wyatt Worldwide. The U.S.-based arm of the alliance was renamed Watson Wyatt & Company and the UK firm was called Watson Wyatt LLP. In 2000, Watson Wyatt & Company completed a successful initial public offering and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. In August 2005, the two firms formally merged and the new company was named Watson Wyatt Worldwide. [4]

A strategic alliance is an agreement between two or more parties to pursue a set of agreed upon objectives needed while remaining independent organizations. A strategic alliance will usually fall short of a legal partnership entity, agency, or corporate affiliate relationship. Typically, two companies form a strategic alliance when each possesses one or more business assets or have expertise that will help the other by enhancing their businesses. Strategic alliances can develop in outsourcing relationships where the parties desire to achieve long-term win-win benefits and innovation based on mutually desired outcomes.

Brand identifies a good or service

A brand is an overall experience of a customer that distinguishes an organization or product from its rivals in the eyes of the customer. Brands are used in business, marketing, and advertising. Name brands are sometimes distinguished from generic or store brands.

Initial public offering (IPO) or stock market launch is a type of public offering in which shares of a company are sold to institutional investors and usually also retail (individual) investors; an IPO is underwritten by one or more investment banks, who also arrange for the shares to be listed on one or more stock exchanges. Through this process, colloquially known as floating, or going public, a privately held company is transformed into a public company. Initial public offerings can be used: to raise new equity capital for the company concerned; to monetize the investments of private shareholders such as company founders or private equity investors; and to enable easy trading of existing holdings or future capital raising by becoming publicly traded enterprises.

2007 transactions

During 2007, Watson Wyatt acquired three companies in Europe. It acquired its Netherlands-based alliance partner, Watson Wyatt Brans & Co. in February. In July, Watson Wyatt bought a German human resources consulting firm, Heissmann GmbH. It purchased Oakbridge Consulting Group in Sweden in October. [5]

Also during 2007, Watson Wyatt acquired the talent management technology and consulting firm WisdomNet. The acquisition of WisdomNet expanded Watson Wyatt's capability in the human capital space by adding a technology suite to its existing talent management consulting group.

Also during 2007, Watson Wyatt announced that it would spin off its multiemployer retirement practices in the United States and Canada. [6] (A multiemployer retirement plan is set up under the terms of collective bargaining agreements involving more than one unrelated employer, generally in the same industry.) Under the plan, Watson Wyatt would not own any portion of the new companies — Horizon Actuarial Services in the U.S. and PBI Actuarial Consultants in Canada — but it would receive a portion of the new firms' revenue for the next five years. [7]

2007 Iron Workers pension fund settlement

On March 23, 2007, Watson Wyatt settled a lawsuit by the pension fund trustees of the Iron Workers, Local No. 25, of Michigan. The lawsuit alleged that the pension plan was underfunded as a result of the company's actuarial work. Under the settlement, Watson Wyatt paid $110 million but did not admit any wrongdoing. [8]


  1. 1 2 "Form 10-K, SEC.GOV" (PDF). Watson Wyatt Worldwide, Inc. June 30, 2009. p. 60. Retrieved December 29, 2009.
  2. 1 2 "Form 10-K, Annual Report" (PDF). Watson Wyatt Worldwide, Inc. June 30, 2007. p. 1. Retrieved November 11, 2007.
  3. ?
  4. "Employee Benefit Consultant To Buy British Subsidiary". The New York Times . January 19, 2005. Retrieved November 11, 2007.
  5. Erin Killian (October 12, 2007). "Watson Wyatt buys Swedish company". Washington Business Journal . Retrieved November 12, 2007.
  6. Jeff Clabaugh (October 18, 2007). "Watson Wyatt to spin off multi-employer retirement business". Washington Business Journal . Retrieved November 12, 2007.
  7. Elizabeth Pfeuti (October 19, 2007). "Watson Wyatt spin offs". Global Pensions. Retrieved November 12, 2007.
  8. Emily Chasan (March 23, 2007). "Watson Wyatt to pay pension fund $110 mln". Reuters UK . Retrieved May 6, 2008.

See also

Employee Retirement Income Security Act

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