NETHERLANDS - Clayton Heijman, global head for Fortis Bank's alternative investors and investment banks in the merchant banking division, is leaving the bank after nine years to pursue his interests in hedge funds.

Heijman has been responsible for Fortis' development of business and relationships with hedge funds, fund of hedge funds and other alternative investors, Fortis confirmed today.

He will most probably move back to London, where he has worked before for a number of years, to focus on hedge funds and alternative investments as he sees many possibilities for growth in the field.

Fortis declined to give any further comment, nor did it want to comment if replacement had been found for Heijman.

His announcement follows the departure of Michael Romanek, director of alternative investments for Fortis Bank's merchant banking division in London, earlier this month to IGS group.

HFMWeek featured a news report quoting a source within the bank as saying that Heijman and Romanek's roles clashed with the responsibilities of the Fortis Prime Fund Solutions business, saying that there was a "perceived overlap".

Also the unnamed source said that it was unlikely the roles will be replaced.

The bank said that it could confirm everything that HFMWeek reported in the article, according to a spokeswoman.

Heijman will remain a council member for the Alternative Investment Management Association.