NEW YORK (HedgeWorld.com)–BlueMountain Capital Management’s latest hires come as part of the firm’s efforts to build a presence in Europe and to add investment capacity to its US$2.6 billion credit derivatives investment platform.

The firm hired portfolio managers, an associate portfolio manager, a strategist and a researcher in its New York and newly opened London office in the last month.

BlueMountain is a registered investment adviser that now employs more than 50 people and offers a relative value hedge fund, BlueMountain Credit Alternatives Fund. That fund was launched in November 2003 and takes long and short bets in global credit markets by using credit default swaps and other credit derivatives.

“We’ve seen a surge in liquidity in the European markets over the past year and feel that the time is right to establish a foothold in Europe,” said Andrew Feldstein, BlueMountain president, in a statement.

Due to that perceived market growth, Jeremy Barnum was hired as a portfolio manager and head of BlueMountain’s London office. He joins the firm from JP Morgan, where he was co-head of North American credit trading and previously ran the firm’s North American Credit Derivative Trading operation from 2001 to 2004.

Also, in the London office is Paul Griffith, who was hired as a senior credit researcher covering autos and industrials. He previously was head of European Credit Research at Goldman Sachs.

Mr. Feldstein, and other managing principals–Stephen Siderow, Alan Gerstein, Mike Liberman and Gery Sampere–will manage the hedge fund firm’s growth and volume by working out of both the firm’s New York headquarters and the London office. Jeff Burch, a New York-based portfolio manager focused on European markets will join Messrs. Barnum and Griffith in London.

Back in New York, officials hired additional investment management staff to boost growth on the idea-generation side of the business. Arthur Berd, Bryce Markus, Jonathan Loflin and Scott Smith each joined the firm earlier this year. Each will play a part in generating investment ideas, evaluating and management risk and working with the trade execution and credit research teams, officials said.

Mr. Berd was a senior vice president at Lehman Brothers where he handled various quantitative credit models and strategies across corporate bonds and credit derivatives and was active in portfolio advisory work with the Lehman’s largest clients.

Prior to BlueMountain, Messrs. Markus, Loflin and Smith worked at Goldman Sachs. Mr. Markus was a vice president and traded corporate debt and credit derivatives there, while Mr. Loflin was a vice president focused on interest rate derivatives, credit risk, structured equity derivatives and cross-market hybrids. Mr. Smith was a credit derivatives trader at Goldman and was focused on investment grade companies.

Contact Bob Keane with questions or comments at: bkeane@investmentadvisor.com”>.