London-based Armajaro Asset Management has hired Michel Danechi to manage a new emerging markets hedge fund to be launched in the first half of 2009.

Danechi was previously the head of the emerging markets desk at Lehman Brothers International (Europe) and has over 15 years experience in trading emerging markets. Prior to joining Lehman Brothers, he was head of the London office and head of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) equity trading at CA-IB International Markets, which is part of Bank Austria Creditanstalt, where he was responsible for trading equities and derivatives. While at CA-IB, he was in charge of pricing, structuring and trading of EMEA equity derivatives for investors and corporates.

The Armajaro Emerging Markets Fund will concentrate on trading the Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (EEMEA) region with the objective of generating long-term capital growth from investments in emerging market equities, derivatives, foreign exchange and fixed income with a macro focus.

Armajaro Asset Management currently manages three specialist commodity hedge funds with combined assets under management of more than $1 billion. All three funds achieved positive returns in 2008 in difficult market conditions, the company says.

Richard Gower, CEO of Armajaro Asset Management, says the forthcoming launch of the Armajaro Emerging Markets Fund expands the company's fund range to combine emerging markets trading with a macro-based strategy that has an equity derivatives bias.

The latest fund has an annual management fee of 2% and a performance fee of 20%. The firm has declined for now to identify the fund's auditor, custodian, administrator and prime broker.

Armajaro Asset Management was formed in July 2002 and specialises in the management of commodity and alternative assets. Armajaro Asset Management's three existing specialist commodity hedge are: the Armajaro Commodities Fund, which invests across all major commodity sectors; CC+ Fund, a soft commodities fund focused on cocoa and coffee; and CZAR+ Fund which invests in sugar, biofuels and biofuel feedstock markets.

Armajaro Asset management is part of Armajaro Group, a global commodities and financial services group.