Hedgeweek people news round-up: Odey brings on board Newman Ragazzi team

Odey Asset Management has acquired Newman Ragazzi Partners, along with Michele Ragazzi, who becomes an Odey partner, his team of six, and the management of the existing Newman Ragazzi funds, which will continue to be run according to their current investment philosophy but within the Odey organisational structure. There will be no change to the funds' boards, administrators, prime brokers or custodians.

Odey Asset Management was established in 1991 and is one of Europe's longest standing long/short fund managers, managing more than USD4.3bn, including four hedge funds, segregated pension accounts and several retail funds. Newman Ragazzi Partners was established in 1997 and currently manages USD325m through the Giano Capital offshore funds and related managed accounts as well as a long-only fund account, Pharus Sicav European Flex fund.

Deutsche Bank Securities has added five senior bankers within its global prime finance division in New York. Anthony Demonte, who has joined as a director in securities lending, previously worked for nine years in the capital markets prime services group at Lehman Brothers, most recently as a senior vice-president. Tom Filipovits joins as a director in the client management group from Morgan Stanley, where he worked for a year in the client solutions group, having previously been a product development manager at Goldman Sachs.

Keith Weintraub, who becomes a director in risk management, was previously a director and head of development for the securitisation group at Citigroup, having earlier been a quantitative risk manager at Archeus Capital Management. EJ Liotta joins as a director in the product development group from Merrill Lynch, where he was a director responsible for prime brokerage technology, having previously worked in the equity finance and prime brokerage group at Barclays Capital. John Dewey, who becomes a director in product management, previously spent six years in Lehman's capital markets prime services group.

MPC Investors has appointed Steven Robertson and Eng Li Yap as equity analysts to support Ajay Gambhir, who joined the firm in May from JPMorgan Asset Management to launch MPC Samsara, a European long/short equity hedge fund. Robertson joins from Arden where he was a software and services analyst. He was previously an electronics and technology analyst at UBS and Dresdner Kleinwort, having begun his career as an auditor with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Yap joins from HSBC's investment banking division, where she was a senior analyst in the retail sector from 2006, after joining from KPMG where she qualified as an accountant. MPC Samsara will launch on September 17 with an initial size of between USD600m and USD900m, and will follow the same strategy as the JPMorgan Europe Dynamic Long Short hedge fund for which Gambhir was the portfolio manager.

Kleinwort Benson has established a product advisory team in the UK headed by Natalie Merrens as head of product advisory, with Jeremy Croysdill as a senior tax adviser and Robbie Meakin. Merrens joins from UBS Wealth Management, where she spent six years as an investment consultant and was instrumental in creating a consulting service to enable private bankers and their clients to receive cross-product and strategic investment advice.

Croysdill, who joined Kleinwort Benson in 2005, previously spent 20 years in tax consulting with Ernst & Young, BDO Stoy Hayward and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Meakin was formerly a colleague of Merrens at UBS. Kleinwort Benson says it is in the process of recruiting two additional members for the product advisory team, which will be responsible for the product development process, the private client strategic advisory framework and the training of private bankers and clients across all asset classes and product areas.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has made two new appointments in its financial institutions group in London, promoting Jonathan Baird to the partnership and Mac Mackenzie to counsel. Baird first joined Freshfields in December 1994, a year after qualifying but in July 1999 he moved to Altheimer & Gray's Chicago office and became a partner in 2001. He returned to Freshfields in December 2003.

Baird specialises in the formation and marketing of investment funds and has developed a leading reputation in the London market for IPOs of listed funds. He is also experienced in the securities law and regulatory concerns for non-US funds planning to access US capital. He has been closely involved in monitoring and analysing the UK Listing Authority's revisions to the London listing regime applicable to investment companies.

Mackenzie joined Freshfields as a trainee in 1996 and qualified into the firm's financial services practice in 1998. Based in the London office, he advises financial institutions including investment banks and asset managers on a broad range of regulatory issues, and has spent time on secondment at two investment banking clients and at the Bank of England.

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