GERMANY - Institutional fund provider WestAM KAG has hired Gunther Westen from HSBC Trinkhaus Capital Management for the new role of director of asset allocation and fund management.

He joined on July 1 and will head a 16-strong asset allocation team. He reports to Uwe Fuiten, the board member responsible for investment management

At HSBC, the 41-year-old Westen was responsible for bond investing, strategic and tactical asset allocation as well as the development of absolute return products.

“With this appointment, the asset manager is reacting to the growing need among institutional clients for asset allocation products,” WestAM said.

Westen’s appointment follows a board shake-up at WestAM last January that saw the appointment of Fuiten and chief executive Kevin Birch.

WestAM, a unit of the state-owned Landesbank WestLB, has €26.9bn in assets under management, €10bn of which comes from state-owned savings banks (Sparkassen), which are part shareholders of WestLB.

The remaining €16.9bn in assets comes from other institutional clients, including other insurers, other banks, pension funds and foundations. Pension funds account for €2.9bn of that total.

By the end of 2007, Birch aims to raise WestAM’s assets under management to €40bn.