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Absolute Capital Management strengthens investment team with portfolio adviser hires

Troubled absolute return fund manager Absolute Capital Management has appointed Daniel Bieri as head of portfolio advisory and Athanasios Ladopoulos as a lead portfolio adviser focused on the Absolute Octane Fund.

The appointments mark the first major senior hirings at Absolute Capital since the departure last September of co-founder and co-chief investment officer Florian Homm, which sparked a 90 per cent fall in the firm's share price after it was discovered that several equity funds had extensive holdings of unlisted, illiquid and hard-to-value stocks.

Bieri, who is 41 and has more than 20 years of asset management experience, will be responsible for risk management and ensuring the development and delivery of effective investment strategies and frameworks within the group.

He joins Absolute Capital from Swiss Life Asset Management in Zurich, where he was most recently head of equities. During nine years at Swiss Life, Bieri was responsible for Swiss equity investments and special equity mandates and subsequently worldwide equity investments when he took over the management of the equity team in 2004. Earlier he was responsible for Swiss equity investments at Allianz Insurance.

Ladopoulos, 38, was most recently lead portfolio manager of Kinetic Special Situations, a London-based event-driven hedge fund. He was previously head of research at Claridge Capital and a futures trader at First Continental Trading, and directed the technology, media and telecoms equity research and sales team at Lazard Capital Markets. He began his career at the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority where he was responsible for asset allocation and investment activities.

'Daniel and Athanasios bring with them considerable expertise in risk management and portfolio investment,' says Absolute Capital chief executive Jonathan Treacher. 'Both have excellent track records and their experience will be instrumental to us as we continue to build a strong foundation for the business for the future and seek to retain and grow assets under management.'

Says Bieri said, 'Absolute Capital has delivered a credible and transparent strategy during a challenging period. It is now ready and ideally positioned to grow, and I look forward to further strengthening its internal operations and delivering effective investment strategies, creating value for our clients and shareholders.'

Ladopoulos adds: 'Absolute Capital is now entering a new phase of its development which presents an excellent opportunity to help grow and shape the business. I look forward to expanding the Absolute Octane Fund and generating high returns for our clients through exploiting event-driven situations.'

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