* ISAM partner Barker to head new Pacific-backed firm
* Firm aims for absolute returns, to launch start of Q2
* ISAM hires former Man execs Lowe and Waller
* Assets rise to more than $500 mln, fund up 17.5 pct in ‘10
LONDON, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Pacific Investments, the investment vehicle of property developer John Beckwith, hired an executive from ex-Man Group (EMG.L) CEO Stanley Fink’s hedge fund firm ISAM to head a new fund boutique.
Pacific, which backed the launch of River and Mercantile Asset Management in 2006, said in a statement Rod Barker, a partner at Fink’s International Standard Asset Management (ISAM), would head the new absolute return fund firm, which is set to launch in the spring.
The launch comes as investors search for funds able to generate absolute returns, or profit in all market conditions, following a rollercoaster period for most asset classes in recent years that saw even hedge funds lose money in 2008.
Barker was previously a director of RAB Capital RAB.L and later worked at Renaissance Investment Management before joining ISAM in 2009.
Pacific declined to give further details about the new firm.
In a separate statement, ISAM said it had hired two former executives from Man Group, as its assets expand to more than $500 million. ISAM, which was set up in 2008 and which runs a rival “black box” fund to Man’s $22.6 billion AHL fund, has hired Riva Waller, who will be chief operating officer based in New York, and Alexander Lowe as business development director. Lowe was head of product strategy and client services for Man Glenwood until he left in 2009. Waller was Man’s head of manager and managed accounts until leaving last March.
Neither departure was connected with Man’s takeover of GLG Partners last year, a spokeswoman said. (Reporting by Laurence Fletcher; Editing by David Holmes)