Nicola Meaden, chairman and CEO of hedge fund advisory group Tremont TASS (Europe) has quit the firm to join US outfit Blackstone Alternative Asset Management (BAAM), which establishes its first physical presence in Europe with the appointment.

Meaden joins Blackstone as managing director and is joined by Valerie Benard, Tremont’s business development director, who joins Blackstone as a director.

Meaden and Benard, who start up Blackstone’s new European operations in London, will serve BAAM’s European institutional investor clientele and assist in the firm’s efforts to identify alternative investment managers.

Previously, BAAM’s European relationships were managed directly from the New York office.

BAAM invests $2.4bn (e2.6bn) of investor and the firm’s own capital in select hedge fund managers through several multi-manager programs, in addition to serving as strategic advisor for US pension fund giant CalPERS’ $1bn hedge fund programme.

“The combined experience and prominence of Nicola and Valerie in the European hedge fund community are unparalleled, and we are excited that they have decided to join us,” says J. Tomilson Hill, president and CEO of BAAM.
“Institutional investors in Europe have expressed a strong demand for our multi-manager programs, and we look forward to serving them with a world class team in Europe,” Mr. Hill continued. “This is a major milestone for us, and represents a further solidification of our leadership among marketable alternatives multi-manager programs serving institutional investors worldwide.”