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4 Sep 2008

Unigestion Hires Former Julius Baer Manager as Head of hedge Funds

Privately owned asset manager, Unigestion, has appointed Konstantinos Iordanidis as Managing Director and Head of Hedge Funds. Unigestion has $11 billion invested in hedge funds, private equity funds and quantitative equity strategies.

Iordanidis is a co-founder of Z.I. Investment, LLC, a global macro hedge fund in Chicago and former Head of Asset Allocation at Julius Baer Asset Management in Zurich from 2003 to 2005. He joins from Olympia Capital Management in Paris where he has been Co-Chief Investment Officer since 2005.

Based in Geneva, his role will be to lead the development of Unigestion’s fund of hedge funds business which comprises 43 investment professionals based in Geneva, London, New York, Paris, Singapore and Guernsey.

The arrival of Iordanidis will provide the opportunity for Bernard Sabrier, Chairman of Unigestion, and Patrick Fenal, CEO, to devote more time to the overall management of the Group focusing on the strategic direction of Unigestion over the next decade. Both will continue to have a key involvement in the fund of hedge fund business, including close relationships with hedge fund managers and Unigestion’s clients.

"It is a natural move for us to reinforce our management structure as we continue to build a multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural and multi-geographic hedge fund team delivering superior quality products to our clients in a consistent and disciplined way." Patrick Fenal, CEO of Unigestion said.

"We are proud to have attracted such a talented individual to strengthen our team." Chairman of Unigestion Bernard Sabrier added, "No doubt he and the team will build on our existing expertise and continue to provide our clients with a combination of products and client service at the leading edge of the fund of hedge fund industry."

Hedge Fund Consolidation

A survey released Wednesday by Global Custodian ranked the world's top hedge fund administrators and found the industry could be in for consolidation in the near future.

The survey queried clients of 56 hedge fund administrators and received nearly 1,200 responses. It was the largest number of administrators the survey had ever analyzed and more hedge fund clients responded than ever before.

Among large firms, Citco Fund Services received the highest scores from its clients, followed by Goldman Sachs Administrative Services, IFS and PNC Global Investment Servicing. Smaller firms, however, scored somewhat higher with their clients. Kaufman Rossin Fund Services topped the list of smaller administrators, followed by ATC Fund Services, AIS Fund Administration and Pinnacle Fund Administration.

Despite the fact smaller firms tended to have more satisfied customers, Dominic Hobson, editor of Global Custodian, predicted greater merger and acquisition activity among administrators. He said it would be surprising if the industry were able to continue to support large numbers of providers.

"There is now evidence that a renewed round of consolidation is in the offing," Hobson said. "In any event, the buyers are likely to be different from the banks which dominated the acquisition process in the early years of this century."

Hobson predicts that in addition to administrators buying each other up, new firms will continue to form through back office spin-offs. There are also likely to be new start-ups looking to serve the smaller hedge funds now being dropped by major providers.