Barclays Staffing Up New Fund-of-Funds Biz

Feb 10 2006 | 9:27pm ET

Barclays Global Investors is looking to hire 20 people by yearend to staff its newly-created fund-of-hedge funds business, the BGI Alpha Management Group.

Tom Taggart, spokesman, said BGI, which is already one of the largest direct hedge fund managers with $13.5 billion in assets under management, decided to enter the fund-of-funds space because after conducting research, the firm felt it could utilize its quantitative and scientific approach to managing money to select external managers who could successfully deliver alpha.

He said the firm will be launching its first fund-of-funds later this year, but emphasized that it is still in its "early days."

The 20 new hires will be divided evenly between the firm's London and New York offices. The Alpha Management Group is being headed up by Stan Beckers, who is based in London.

Beckers joined the firm in 2004 from Barra International, where he worked for 20 years and was well-known in the alternatives space. Jonathan Morgan will run the U.S. fund-of-funds group out of the firm's recently-opened New York digs. Morgan, who joined the firm in September 2005 from Julius Baer Investment Management's alternatives business, will report to Beckers.

Like BGI's current direct hedge funds, the new funds-of-funds will be marketed only to institutional investors.

"We serve strictly the largest institutional investors," Taggart said. "This is not a retail entry whatsoever." Taggart said that the addition of the fund-of-funds group will have no bearing on the firm's current hedge fund business. "Our direct hedge fund business continues to grow," said Taggart. "These are two separate businesses that are approaching different needs of our clients."


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