LONDON (HedgeWorld.com)–Lorin Gresser was named head of Threadneedle Investments’ alternative investment business, a new role that developed as the firm has launched three hedge funds in as many years.

Ms. Gresser joined the firm in 2000, as officials were unveiling their first hedge fund offerings. Ms. Gresser previously was head of strategy at Threadneedle, which included oversight of the growing alternative investment segment of the firm’s business that now totals US$1.3 billion.

Simon Davies, chief executive, now will be handling the oversight of both the alternative and traditional asset management at the firm. Ms. Gresser is reporting to David Sachon, head of distribution.

Her responsibility will be to examine the possibilities in the alternatives space with the heads of the firm’s distribution divisions to bring together product development, back office and corporate governance functions in order to build up the firm’s hedge fund business.

According to Samantha Slator, spokeswoman, the firm has leveraged the resources it already had to launch hedge funds with portfolio managers handling both traditional and alternative asset strategies. No additional sales, portfolio management or other staff will be brought on board to handle hedge funds specifically, Ms. Slator said.

In a statement, Mr. Sachon said, “We already have further plans to launch new products as our existing funds are either closed or near to closing. The market is also changing. The introduction of CP 185 for non-retail U.K. products and regulatory change in European markets will present new challenges and opportunities.”

The firm’s current hedge fund lineup consists of a European long/short equity fund, a U.K. long/short equity fund and a credit fund. The credit fund was the most recent launch in 2003 and has US$81 million in assets.

SBarreto@HedgeWorld.com