Cole Partners Asset Management has appointed Philip Halpern as chief investment officer of Tellus Asset Management, its specialist natural resources asset management business, responsible for directing portfolio strategy and the manager structure of its natural resources fund of funds.

'Philip brings a strong vision and a proven history for innovation, and joins us at an important juncture in the firm's development,' says Brad Cole, founder of Cole Partners and chairman of the Tellus investment committee. 'His credentials, experiences and management expertise will be of great value as the firm seeks to expand. Philip already has made significant contributions during his three years on our [Tellus Master Fund] advisory board.'

Halpern has spent 20 years as chief investment officer of major investment institutions including the University of Chicago and the California Institute of Technology, where he initiated increased commitments to alternative investments.

Previously he was chief investment officer of the Washington State Investment Board, where he led a major restructuring of the state's pension and insurance portfolios. Earlier in his career, Halpern was involved in corporate finance activities and investments at J.C. Penney and Federated Department Stores.

Since leaving the Chicago investment office in 2004, Halpern has focused on private investing and active board or investment committee mandates including Boston Advisors, Dow Jones Hedge Fund Index Committee, Duet India Hotels, M Funds (as chairman), Oxford Financial Group, Rreef America Reit II and SunTx Capital Partners.

He currently advises ultra-high net worth families worldwide on their portfolio interests and serves on the executive management committee of the Chapin Hall board at the University of Chicago, a research and policy centre devoted to children's issues.

'Long commodity investing has become accepted by leading institutional investors for some time, and only recently has active trading in this space begun to make it on to people's radar screen,' Halpern says.

'I'm excited to participate just, I believe, as the tipping point in this strategy is about to occur. A diversified actively traded commodity vehicle can add significant value to clients' total portfolio allocation. Tellus Asset Management is poised to continue to be successful here.'

Cole Partners, established in 1998, evaluates and markets alternative investments using a variety of strategic marketing, product development and educational capabilities. With a team experienced in portfolio management, marketing, institutional sales and derivatives trading, Cole Partners creates and executes strategic marketing plans for single-manager alternative products.


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