EUROPE – Jean Keller, former chief executive of Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch Asset Management in London, has joined Swiss bank SYZ & Co. as head of its alternatives arm.

Keller, son of a former senior partner at LODH, will be CEO of Geneva-based SYZ’s 3A SA - Alternative Asset Advisors. He will start at 3A on February 1, replacing Tony Morrongiello, who is leaving to launch his own company.

SYZ said the 40-year-old Keller “has substantial experience in institutional asset management, which is increasingly turning its attention towards alternative investments and absolute returns”.

He resigned from LODH in December. He was a member of the firm’s general management committee and co-headed its institutional asset management business. He joined in 1994.

"At a time when institutional investors are the driving force for future growth in alternative investments, Jean Keller's significant expertise in the marketing of institutional products across major international markets will be a real added value in promoting our range of alternative asset products in Europe", said SYZ partner Alfredo Piacentini.

"The major under-funding of estimated future benefit obligations that many pension funds encountered after 2000 has led to an increase in the number of European pension funds reviewing their asset liability structure,” Keller said.

“They are now paying increased attention to investment objectives expressed in absolute terms and giving priority to a steady growth of their portfolios and a lower correlation with indices when markets are falling."

3A manages $1.6bn in alternative investments.