Former ARIA chief, Steve Gibbs, has been hired by a major investment bank to help distribute its synthetic and alternative investment products to not-for-profit super funds.

The head of Merrill Equities’ pension services division, Nicholas Allen, said Gibbs had started on a part-time basis on April 1. “;Investment banks have had a reputation among super funds for going in hard and doing deals, but then not following up with the kind of client service you get from a funds manager,”; Allen said. “;Steve is obviously very well respected in the super fund industry, and his role is to build bridges between the funds and the investment bank.”; Allen’s division wants to work with super funds on two fronts. One is the provision of cheap beta, predominantly through synthetic replication, to facilitate alpha transport. On the alpha front, a wide suite of alternative investment products is available. Gibbs, who was unavailable for comment yesterday, will remain based in Canberra.

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