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Coast Asset Management, an independent multistrategy alternative investment firm managing some USD6.7bn in assets for institutional and high net worth clients, has appointed Roger Hartley as chief operating officer. Hartley, 47, was previously a San Francisco-based managing director at Putnam Lovell, a division of Jefferies.

Over the past year Coast has also recruited Susan Mosher from Investors Bank & Trust as chief compliance officer and Jonathan Jacobs from the US affiliate of Financial Risk Management as general counsel.

Coast says it is expanding in response to heightened investor interest in its multi-manager fund of funds and customised strategies, and favourable conditions created by the global turmoil in financial markets.

The firm has also appointed Madhav Misra, Peter Hanelt and Edward Lyman to its board of managers, which is responsible for setting strategic goals for the firm. Misra was a founder and chief investment officer of Allianz Hedge Fund Partners and earlier head of hedge funds at Citigroup Alternative Investments.

Hanelt is president of PGH Consulting, an adviser to public and private companies, while Lyman was formerly president of Axa Rosenberg Group. The other members of the board are David Smith, Coast's founder and president, Lori Edwards, a senior vice-president at the firm, and Peter Chung, a managing partner at Summit Partners, an investor in Coast.

'Coast's crucial edge is the quality, insights and experience of our people, and we are fortunate to attract the individuals who have joined the firm as senior executives and board members,' Smith says. 'They will all play influential roles as we expand our international capabilities and develop additional investment strategies to serve Coast's growing global client base.'

The firm historically covered international clients and non-US hedge fund managers from its US office, but last year it opened an office in London, and recruited Sabine Maarschalk from ABN Amro to head sales efforts in the UK, continental Europe and the Middle East. It is now exploring additional non-US markets, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.

Coast was founded by Smith in 1991 as an investment manager specialising in fixed-income arbitrage. The firm launched its first fund of hedge funds product in 1995 and today manages some USD3.9bn in its core multi-manager fund of hedge funds portfolios and about USD2.8bn in complementary strategies, including fixed-income arbitrage and structured products. The firm currently employs 93 people, including 27 investment professionals.


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