Merrill Lynch has named Brad Schwartz as head of its alternative investments origination and sales for the Pacific Rim, based in Hong Kong.

In this new role, Schwartz will look to originate new alternative investment opportunities specifically focused on Pacific Rim institutional and high net worth clients.

In particular, he will be looking for products such as hedge funds, fund of funds, and private equity funds that can be added to Merrill Lynch platforms and through other means, a spokesman says. These platforms include an online system available to Merrill Lynch clients.

Other ways of providing access to such products include structured products that can give clients access to certain markets they would normally not have easy access, for example. Another is through specially created derivatives funds, where Merrill Lynch can alter the features of the alternative products by adding a principal guaranteed feature or adding some leverage.

ôThis role was created in response to the increasing demand from private banking and institutional clients for a variety of alternative products,ö the spokesman says.

SchwartzÆs role also includes providing advice and guidance to clients. He has a team that does due diligence on the products, which he is currently building. The sales part of his role involves ômaking sure that investor flows are going into these products,ö the spokesman says.

Schwartz will work closely with Merrill LynchÆs global origination team lead by David Barrett. He will also look to build out sales presence in each of the Pacific Rim jurisdictions, working with the equity structured solutions sales managers.

Schwartz reports to Abhinav Gorawara, Hong Kong-based head of equity structured solutions and financial products group at Merrill Lynch Pacific Rim.

ôThe alternatives investments space presents a huge opportunity for growth for the Pacific Rim as we look to enhance our hedge fund and private equity platforms, increase our presence in the fund derivatives space and enhance our penetration across the region's client base for Merrill Lynch proprietary indices,ö Gorawara says in an announcement.

Schwartz was formerly the chief operating officer at Vectors Research Management in New York, where he was instrumental in launching domestic and offshore mortgage and asset-backed hedge funds. In that role, he was responsible for the daily operations of the company, marketing and investor relations. He also sat on Vectors' investment committee, where he was actively involved in trade decisions and the approval of fund strategies.

Prior to joining Vectors, Schwartz was an institutional salesman with Merrill Lynch specializing in convertible bonds and equity derivatives. During his 11 years at Merrill Lynch he worked in New York, Dallas, London and Tokyo, developing client relationships with hedge funds and money managers.