UK - European pensions expert Jan Mantel has left Baring Asset Management, where he was head of the UK and European equity team, to start his own hedge fund.

Mantel will launch P J Capital Management in November with Philip van den Berg, who recently left Olympus Capital Management. They expect to raise 200 million dollars by the end of 2004 for a European long/short fund.

He will be replaced by Simon Hallett. Sarah Austin, who has been with BAM since 1993, will co-manage the section with him.

Formerly an independent consultant to Merrill Lynch in London, Mantel is the author of numerous research papers on pension provision in Europe.

In his report ‘European Pension Reforms’ in 1999 Mantel suggested that one of the most effective policies to combat the effect of an ageing population would be to raise the retirement age.

Last month saw the departure of Peter Wolton, the chief executive of Baring AM’s investment management group.