NEW YORK (HedgeWorld.com)–Warburg Invest, the asset management arm of Hamburg-based private bank M.M. Warburg & Co., and Swiss banking group Syz & Co. announced that they have reached an agreement to cooperate in the development, management and distribution of alternative investment products in Germany.

They plan to offer one or more German-based funds of funds to private and institutional investors and also will provide services to institutions that want tailored hedge fund portfolios. The products for private investors will have a low minimum investment and will be distributed by both banks as well as third-party networks.

Syz will contribute its expertise in hedge fund selection while Warburg applies its knowledge of the German market to the new products. “We are both independent private banks, actively managed by their principal shareholders, and we share the same vision of the asset management industry. I believe that we ideally complement each other,” said M.M. Warburg & Co. partner Max Warburg, in a statement.

“This move is part of a general trend in Europe toward giving private and institutional investors a broader access to hedge funds,” said Eric Syz, founding partner of Banque Syz & Co. SA. Syz already offers hedge fund products in the U.K. and in Italy, as well as in Switzerland. Its fund of funds, Altin AG, is listed on the London Stock Exchange. In Italy, it sells through Albertini Syz Investimenti Alternativi SGR.

European regulators have been opening markets to hedge funds. Italy, France and, more recently, Germany allowed the public distribution of funds of funds, although under varying regulatory regimes (see).

Geneva-based Syz & Co. manages US$6.6 billion in assets, with approximately US$1.2 billion of that in alternative investments.

CKurdas@HedgeWorld.com

Contact Robert F. Keane with questions or comments at:

bkeane@ia-mag.com.