Fund of hedge funds manager Ermitage Group has announced the appointment of John Rushen as an executive director with responsibility for managing Ermitage's European institutional business, with a particular focus on pension funds.

He joins Ermitage from BlackRock, where he was a managing director and product specialist, having previously been a European partner at William M. Mercer and a senior practitioner in the firm's investment consulting practice. Based in London, Rushen reports to group chief executive Ian Cadby and will join the Ermitage UK board of directors.

'I am delighted that John has joined Ermitage to lead our European pension fund service,' Cadby says. 'He brings tremendous knowledge of the sector, with relationships with many of the top UK pension funds, FTSE 100 companies and more than 20 years spent in pension fund consulting.

'His decision to join us at this time emphasises the potential Ermitage has to become a leading service provider to the pension fund sector globally. I am confident that his understanding of the needs of today's pension funds will deliver benefits for Ermitage and its clients.'

Rushen says: 'Ermitage has earned a great reputation based not just on the quality of its people and the performance of its funds, but also on its outstanding infrastructure. Forward-thinking leadership and continuing investment has resulted in leading edge proprietary systems.

'I am confident that with the talent, experience and passion evident at Ermitage we will create a truly global business as we expand our delivery of bespoke solutions to sophisticated pension funds and other institutional investors looking for consistent and highly competitive absolute returns.'

Ermitage, which had USD2.8bn in assets under management at the end of February and has offices in Jersey, London and New York, was acquired by its management and UK investment trust Caledonia Investments from South Africa's Liberty Group in March 2006.

A provider of alternative investment services to institutions, pension funds and private clients, the group made its first hedge fund investment in 1984. In addition to funds of hedge funds, managed accounts and customised solutions for individualised mandates, it also provides a private client services through its global wealth management services division.


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