BOSTON (HedgeWorld.com)–Kathleen William MacLaren and Kenneth E. Stocker joined Northeast Securities Inc. as the co-managing directors of a new division, created to serve the institutional hedge fund community, Northeast Alternative Strategies.

As another part of its expansion plans, Northeast announced the opening of a new office in Boston, which will supplement its New York and Connecticut operations. Mr. Stocker will work out of Northeast’s Wall Street office, the company said, while Ms. MacLaren heads up the trading and execution component of the new division from Boston.

Ms. MacLaren is the former chief operating officer of ValueQuest, a US$1.5 billion institutional money management firm purchased this week by Thomas Weisel Asset Management. She left ValueQuest in 1999, to team up with Mr. Stocker and form an investment advisory partnership.

“We worked as an advisory firm affiliated with the Bayou Fund in Stamford, [Conn.],” she said. She acknowledged that the Bayou Fund is an odd name for a Connecticut operation, but it was founded by Sam Israel, who grew up in Louisiana and has generously endowed New Orlean’s Tulane University. Ms. MacLaren also has Louisiana connections, having received her masters from Xavier University of Louisiana.

Mr. Stocker was the director of research for RXR, a US$1 billion alternative investment adviser, before entering into his partnership with Ms. MacLaren. “Kathleen and I view our move to Northeast as a collaborative effort to broaden the scope of our client offerings, while bringing important new skills to Northeast’s more traditional lines of business,” he said.

“The addition of the Stocker/MacLaren team to our company and creation of a Boston base fulfills a significant part of the diversification plan and growth strategy for Northeast,” said Robert Bonelli, president and chief operating officer.