LONDON (HedgeWorld.com)–Laurent Leclercq has been hired to head the sales effort for Standard Asset Management’s long-only and hedge fund offerings in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Mr. Leclercq will be in charge of building up the sales of the firm’s emerging market debt hedge fund, South African long/short equity fund, and its structured notes offerings, primarily catering to private client banks, pension funds, funds of funds and family offices.

Standard Asset Management, a division of Standard Americas Inc. and Standard Bank London Ltd., offers a South African hedge fund and a structured notes platform that each boast US$30 million in assets, said Mr. Leclercq. Most of the firm’s assets are in emerging market strategies that consist of a US$50 million long/short equity hedge fund investing only in emerging market debt and a 30 million euro (US$34 million) version of that same strategy that has gained a three-year track record.

Previously, Mr. Leclercq was responsible for institutional sales at Sinopia, the quantitative and structured asset management division of HSBC Group, which he left in August. He joined Standard Asset Management after the firm built up third-party assets under management in Europe, especially taking on pension and hedge fund mandates.

The firm currently has US$1.2 billion in assets and has long-only European high-yield fixed-income strategies in addition to its growing hedge fund assets. The focus has been in offering total return-oriented strategies, said Mr. Leclercq.

“Laurent is a crucial addition to the team at a key state in SAM’s development,” Jonathan Binder, chief investment officer at Standard Asset Management, said in a statement. “Given that both strong performing high-yield and emerging market debt have little correlation to traditional asset classes and European institutional and retail clients remain underinvested, building up our sales and marketing resources in this region is the logical next step for our organization.”

Investment strategies of the future also are being discussed, including a possible long/short high-yield strategy. But for now, Mr. Leclercq is focused on selling the emerging market hedge funds to alternative investment clients.

SBarreto@HedgeWorld.com