GERMANY - German institutional fund manager Bayern-Invest has recruited a senior executive from the German arm of JP Morgan for a new seat on its management board.

Bayern-Invest confirmed that Martina Reichl, currently head of JP Morgan’s master fund business, would be appointed as the third member of its board from September 1.

“We managed to persuade Ms Reichl to take up the exciting new challenge of becoming our third board member in charge of operations,” said Michael Bentlage, chief executive of Bayern-Invest.

In her new role, Reichl will be in charge of operations, including fund accounting and controlling, information technology and Bayern-Invest’s growing master fund business.

She is joined on the board by Bentlage, head of portfolio management, and Hans-Peter Strubereiter, executive in charge of fund distribution.

JP Morgan said Joachim Treppner would succeed Reichl as head of its master fund business, which was launched in September 2003.

Bayern-Invest was originally set up as the asset management arm of German regional bank Bayerische Landesbank (Bayern LB). Today, the bank’s assets account for just one-fifth of Bayern-Invest’s €15.5bn in institutional assets under management.

Beyond offering both passive and active mandates for equities and bonds, Bayern-Invest specialises in master funds, taking in €5.4bn in assets with these products. Reichl’s appointment is a further boost to the latter business.

In a master fund, back-office administration of a client’s institutional funds are centralised within one provider, reducing costs while boosting efficiency. Although master funds are booming in Germany, the business operates on margins typically under 10 basis points.

In view of this fact, Bentlage agreed with other master fund providers like Helaba Invest that a volume of at least €10bn was necessary for the business to be viable.

However, Bentlage told IPE that with a volume of €5.4bn, Bayern-Invest’s master fund business was already profitable and, more importantly, growing.