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Derivatives

Fund Consultant Eyes Expansion

Swiss alternative investment consultant Noble Investments is considering opening offices in Asia to exploit the relatively untapped alternative investment markets in that region. The consultant and alternative investment structurer liases with fund managers and investors to offer bespoke products, such as guaranteed products, which are often structured using over-the-counter derivatives, according to Patrick Aregger, partner in Zurich. The timing will depend on the growth of the alternative investment arena. Mauro Gerli, partner in Zurich, said, "If a pension fund calls tomorrow we will start tomorrow." Aregger added, "we will grab opportunities." Both declined to put a timeframe to the plans.

The largest growth areas are Hong Kong and Singapore, Aregger said. Its parent company, the commodity house Noble group, is also based in the region and this will make expansion easier as it can share office space. Aregger predicts that its main customers will be pension funds connected to the energy companies Noble group deals with but the consultant will also attempt to tap other sectors.

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