3A hires head of business development and two senior sales staff

Alternative Asset Advisors, known as 3A, the hedge fund management division of Swiss banking group Syz & Co, has appointed Claire Locher as head of business development and recruited two senior sales staff, with Massimiliano Del Nero becoming sales manager for Spain and Adam Harrison appointed as UK institutional sales executive.

Locher, who becomes a senior vice-president, will be based in Geneva and report to 3A chief executive Jean Keller. Before joining 3A, she was head of international distribution for Renaissance Investment Management, having established Barclays Global Investors (Suisse) as the group's Geneva-based director for Switzerland.

Earlier Locher spent five years with Pictet Funds, rising from country manager for France to head of global accounts. Previously, she held positions in the area of marketing and sales with Nomura, BZW Futures and JP Morgan Futures in London and Paris.

'One of 3A's strategic objectives is to enhance our market coverage and new markets reach,' Keller says. 'We have great products, and Claire's appointment aims to make this unparalleled expertise better known to institutional investors internationally. She brings enormous experience and great energy to 3A.'

Says Locher: '3A has developed an impressive research and investment team, which has established an outstanding track record in managing fund of hedge funds portfolios. In an industry in which many players are newcomers, experience is the factor that often determines the difference between successful and poor selection of hedge fund managers. With its 12-year experience and track record, 3A is ideally placed in this respect.'

Del Nero, who becomes a vice-president and will work out of Geneva, has 12 years experience in the financial industry, having previously been director of the fund department at Octogone Gestion. Earlier he spent a decade with Arpad Busson's EIM in the areas of fund analysis, portfolio management, analytical reporting and marketing.

Based in London, Harrison previously worked for ABN Amro, first as sales manager for the UK and then as head of sales to UK banks and multi-managers, having begun his career with Renault.

As the alternative management division of Syz & Co, 3A manages several funds of hedge funds, including Altin, an investment company listed in Zurich and London, as well as Alternative Capital Enhancement and various alternative products specifically designed for institutional investors. The firm had total assets under management of more than USD4.8bn at the end of March.

Syz & Co specialises in asset management through three interconnected area of activity, high-level private banking offered by Banque Syz & Co, the Oyster range of investment funds and 3A as the group's alternative investment unit. The group manages CHF30.7bn in assets and employs 330 staff at its Geneva headquarters and offices in Zurich, Lugano, Locarno, London, Luxembourg, Nassau, Salzburg, Milan, Rome and Hong Kong.

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