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Thames River Capital founder Jonathan Hughes-Morgan has recruited Citywire AAA-rated Mark Williams from F&C Asset Management and AA-rated Phil Cliff from Threadneedle for the launch of a new investment boutique.
Hughes-Morgan left his post of managing director of Thames River in October 2006. He has now established a new firm, Occam Asset Management, structured as a limited liability partnership, of which he is chairman.
Williams, formerly manager of the F&C Pacific Growth (F&C Pacific Growth 1 Acc) fund, will be head of Asian equities and Cliff, who previously managed the Threadneedle pan-European Accelerando (Threadneedle Pan European Accelerando C1) and European Select Growth (Threadneedle European Select Growth C1) funds will be head of European equities.
They will be joined by John Greenhill, who joins from Lazard and will head the Japanese equity team. Before joining Lazard Greenhill lead the Japanese equities team for Royal & Sun Alliance.
Seed capital of $50 million (£25 million) has been secured for each of three initial hedge fund launches. Long-only funds for the managers are planned for 2008.
Hughes-Morgan will act as chairman while David Sheppard has been appointed as chief executive. Sheppard was previously the head of pan-European sales and trading at SG Corporates & Investment Banking.
Hughes-Morgan said: 'We think that Japan is going to offer decent returns going forward and Asia and Europe have always been markets I am keen on. We try to strike while the iron is hot and I think we have some high quality managers. Next year we will start considering the launch of long-only funds.'
Williams has built a solid record with the F&C Pacific Growth fund, which over the past five years has posted a return of 173% compared to a return of 107% from the FTSE Asia Pacific excluding Japan index.