JPMorgan Asia derivatives trader joins Horizon21

Mark Bamber becomes co-head of structured products at the alternative funds group in Hong Kong following Stewart AldcroftÆs retirement.
Horizon21 Alternative Investments has appointed Mark Bamber as principal in Hong Kong, where he will oversee the development of the firmÆs business development in Asia-Pacific.

He replaces Stewart Aldcroft, who formally retired this month and relocated to Australia. Aldcroft had actually decided to leave at the end of last year after 22 years in the Hong Kong industry, but remained on board for regulatory purposes until a replacement was formalised.

Bamber, formerly head of equities and trading for Asia ex-Japan at JPMorgan in Hong Kong, will help market the groupÆs services to institutional investors and family offices in the region. Among the products the firm is offering are insurance-linked securities that he says have very low correlation to either equities or fixed income, as well as a popular ôBric-plusö note.

He reports to Daniel Schweizer, CEO in Switzerland. Bamber is one of two principals in Hong Kong. His counterpart is Andreas Ritzi, a founding partner of Horizon21.

Bamber joined Robert Fleming in London in 1992, and moved to Hong Kong in 2000 in the wake of JPMorgan ChaseÆs acquisition of Flemings, including its Asian businesses under the Jardine Fleming name. He left the group last year ôto take a year on the beach running triathlonsö, as he puts it. His first instinct was to then start a hedge fund but it didnÆt get off the ground and then Horizon21 contacted him.

Based in Pfaeffikon SZ in Switzerland, Horizon21 was established in 2004 by Rainer-Marc Frey after he sold his previous fund-of-hedge-funds business, RMF, to Man Investments; Ritzi was among the founders.

It started off managing aggressive single-strategy hedge funds and private-equity funds for its owners and other wealthy families. The business gained a boost in 2006 when it agreed to merge its private-equity funds-of-funds business with Swiss Re, with the reinsurer taking an equity stake and a seat on the board.

Horizon21 then acquired Noble Investments, which provides structured solutions to institutional investors looking for access to commodity and other boutique managers. Aldcroft had recently joined Noble Investments, itself a start up, and helped establish its business in the region, including getting the required licenses and putting together a team in Hong Kong.

Aldcroft first came to Asia with Schroder Investment Management in 1985, and has led business-development initiatives in Hong Kong at HSBC, Franklin Templeton and Investec. He also worked briefly on the distribution side at Standard Chartered Bank.

He had left Investec in 2003 for a possible retirement but couldnÆt resist the offer from Noble Group, the commodities trading company, to build a business selling structured and alternative products. Although he may do some consulting for Australian fund managers looking to build a presence in Asia, for now his full-time occupation is renovating a house.
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