Zurich’s new alternatives shop builds team

New York-based Zurich Asset Management, which expects to invest $5 billion, will centralize its management team to capitalize on the blurring of the lines across asset classes.

New York-based Zurich Alterantive Asset Management, the recently formed alternative investment division of Switzerland-based Zurich Financial Services which will invest $5 billion (€3.9 billion) in private equity funds, US real estate funds and hedge funds, has put together a management team that will oversee the portfolio.

The management team will be centralized to take “advantage of the diminishing distinctions among asset classes in the market today,” according to a statement issued by the firm.

As reported by PrivateEquityRealEstate.com’s sister news site Private Equity Online in September, David Wasserman, the former chief investment officer at Zurich Financial, will serve as the division’s chief executive. Ron Cacciola, who previously served in senior investment roles with Zurich Financial, will be the new alternatives division’s chief investment officer. Jim Kester, who was hired away from his position as co-head of private equity firm Allianz Private Equity Partners, will oversee the private equity team. 

Chris Halabi will lead the US real estate effort with his long-time team from Zurich Financial, while Louis Rubino will come over from a similar role to serve as chief operating officer at the new division. Outside hires David Tsung and Madanda Machayya will direct the hedge fund efforts.

“We intend to apply our unique knowledge base to our investment process, which will also benefit from our ability to make long-term investments with no preset time limitations,” says Wasserman in a statement.