Ramius has appointed Bradley Sussman as managing director and head of liquid alternative products.
In his role, Sussman will be responsible for the firm's mutual fund platform and growing its suite of liquid alternative products.
Sussman is a managing director, hedge fund strategist at Merrill Lynch where he has been a member of the investment committee for alternative investments and head of non-traditional mutual fund due diligence.
Michael Singer, chief executive officer of Ramius, says: "Brad, a veteran in the alternatives space who has spent his career constructing and overseeing portfolios of hedge funds and more recently leading the sourcing and diligence of alternative mutual funds, is uniquely qualified to lead our liquid alternatives business. He has been at the forefront of the movement to offer contemporary liquid alternative strategies to retail and mass affluent investors, products historically in the domain of sophisticated institutional investors only. Brad's mandate will be to develop bolt on products to existing firm investment capabilities and onboard talented investment teams in order to deliver to the market the right liquid products in the right space managed by the right teams."
Ramius' numerous liquid alternative products include the recently launched Ramius Event Driven Equity Fund, which provides exposure to a broad spectrum of transformative corporative events with a core focus on following shareholder activism.
"As a broader universe of investors begin to allocate meaningful assets to daily liquid alternative strategies, it is crucial that those who understand these underlying strategies best offer top quality products to this marketplace. With two decades of expertise in alternatives, Ramius has been a leader in sourcing skilled investment teams, developing innovative products and bringing these capabilities and solutions to all investors. There is a tremendous opportunity for the firm to educate investors and create access to these liquid products, and I am very pleased to be joining Ramius at this exciting time," says Sussman.
According to Morningstar, and Barron's fifth annual national survey regarding alternative investments among institutions and financial advisors published in June 2013, liquid alternative products have grown significantly in recent years. The survey found that many investors are recognising that alternative mutual funds are a unique tool to diversify portfolios, and that more financial advisors are incorporating liquid investments into client portfolios. The survey noted that "mutual funds are becoming the dominant vehicle used by both advisors and institutions to access the majority of alternative strategies."
Regarding alternatives more broadly, the survey found that only four per cent of advisors said their typical client had no money in alternative investments, down from 17 per cent in the 2008 survey.