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Infiniti Group staff complete management buyout


Zurich-based fund of hedge funds manager Infiniti Group has been acquired by a consortium of senior staff and strategic investors in a management buyout led by co-founder and chairman Kenji Steven and chief executive Ian Shearer. According to Steven and Shearer, the buyout will lead to Infiniti Capital being recapitalised and restructured to focus on its core growth business of serving clients in Japan and the Asia-Pacific region.

Infiniti will retain a presence in Zurich and offices in Hong Kong, London and Christchurch, New Zealand. The team will continue to be led by Shearer and Steven, along with global head of institutional relationships Takeshi Shiratori, chief operating officer Adrian Whiteman and chief financial officer Chris Wells.

The investment team has been reorganised under co-chief investment officers Xavier Fanjaud (previously head of qualitative research) and Peter Urbani (previously head of quantitative analysis, while Debbie Birch is joining the firm as global macro strategist.

Birch was previously head of capital markets trading at Wardley, the former HSBC merchant bank in Hong Kong, and head trader at Bank of America Asia. Head of operations Rachael Campbell also joins Infiniti Capital's investment committee as investment compliance officer.

'The core investment process and operational backbone developed by Infiniti over the years remains a key focus of the group,' Steven says. 'Our investment team is being reinforced by the closer integration of our qualitative and quantitative analysis teams to provide a strong mix of market expertise and analytical skills.

'The investment process will gain further efficiencies by shortened lines of communication and by the addition of Debbie's macro experience and the increased oversight of a dedicated investment compliance officer.

'I have been overwhelmed by the extent to which so many senior staff members were so eager to make a personal financial commitment to the firm. This tangibly demonstrates our high level of conviction and belief in the firm and its future.'

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