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3A strengthens sales and marketing across Europe

3A, the fund of hedge funds division of the Swiss banking group Syz & Co, has strengthened its marketing and sales force in several new regions in Europe.

André Bachmann, CFA, and Karin Urweider, CFA, will reinforce the alternative investment sales and marketing team in Zurich. Bachmann and Urweider will be servicing all German-speaking regions, namely Germany, German-speaking Switzerland and Austria. Sébastian Plusa joins 3A in Geneva to head up sales targeting Scandinavian institutional and high net worth investors, as well as targeting the Benelux and Central Europe.

The move has been made in response to growing investor demand for sophisticated alternative solutions. These developments are a further step by the group towards providing a European-wide presence.

In Italy, Syz & Co has a strong presence through its alternative asset management company, Milan-based Albertini Syz Investimenti Alternativi.

In May this year, Syz & Co became one of the first non-German alternative investment companies to seek a German presence by joining forces with Warburg Invest to cooperate in the development, management and distribution of alternative products in Germany. In the UK market, 3A is the investment manager for ALTIN, a fund of hedge funds with one of the longest track records as a listed fund of hedge funds, and currently listed in London and Switzerland.

Tony Morrongiello, CEO of 3A said: "These new international hirings will provide increased access to institutional, high net worth and retail investors in a number of geographies of increasing importance to 3A. As investor interest in hedge funds continues to grow, we are likewise increasing our specialist alternative asset sales and marketing team by adding people with strong and extensive track records, ready to meet the requirements of an increasingly sophisticated investor base."

Tony Morrongiello added: "They will have at their disposal a wide range of strongly performing products and tailor made solutions designed to meet different investor profiles as well as the specific regulatory considerations in key European countries.  Whilst hedge fund returns have improved in recent months there is a wide variation in returns among hedge funds and funds of hedge funds. This is one of the messages that the sales team will be getting across to investors. The ALTIN fund of hedge funds, which 3A manages, has delivered a return of +8.75% in the year to 12 November, widely outperforming the HFRI Fund of Hedge Funds Composite Index, which returned +2.72% in the year to end October (latest figures for this index)."

André Bachmann, CFA, began his career in the international capital markets 25 years ago as a trader in equity and foreign bonds, working for Credit Suisse, Handelsbank NatWest and BA finance until 1986 in Switzerland. From 1987 to 1990, he was a Eurobond Sales Manager at Bankers Trust AG. From 1990 until 1996, he was a Vice President at Credit Suisse working as an investment advisor to institutional investors. Until joining 3A, he was General Manager for Invesco Switzerland since 1996, based in Zurich, where he was responsible for Mutual Fund Sales and dealings with the Swiss Federal Banking Commission. He joins 3A's Zurich sales team as Senior Vice-President, dedicated to servicing the Swiss German-speaking part of Switzerland.

Karin Urweider, CFA, also joins the Zurich office as Assistant Vice-President in sales and marketing from BrunnerInvest AG.  Previously, she worked for Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch & Cie in Zurich as marketeer for German financial intermediaries for three years. The Zurich office, set up in 2003, now numbers 8 investment professionals.

Sébastian Plusa embarked on his financial career in 1994 as a money trader at Paribas. In 1996 he joined Deutsche Bank focusing on equity sales to long-only institutional investors. Before joining 3A Sébastian worked for Barep, the alternative investment arm of Société Générale and focused on Nordic and central European institutional investors. Sébastian will be heading up sales to Scandinavian institutional and high net worth investors, as well as targeting the Benelux and Central Europe.

3A SA - Alternative Asset Advisors is the alternative division of the SYZ & CO Group and one of Europe's leading specialists in the field. 3A is the investment manager for a number of funds of hedge funds, including London and Zurich-listed ALTIN and Alternative Capital Enhancement, the latter comprising a number of single-strategy and multi-strategy funds of hedge funds. 3A manages approximately USD 1.6 billion in alternative investments.

Based in Geneva, the Swiss banking group Syz & Co is exclusively dedicated to asset management through three strongly interconnected business lines: High-level private banking, a comprehensive range of investment funds (Oyster Funds) and expertise in the field of alternative investments - 3A SA.

The group manages USD 6.6 billion in assets, with 180 employees. Syz & Co is present in Switzerland with offices in Geneva, Zurich, Lugano and Locarno and also operates abroad in London, Luxembourg, Nassau, Salzburg and Milan.

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