The local arm of $28 billion Swiss alternatives manager Partners Group has recruited a second senior distribution resource from Zurich Financial Services after hiring Martin Scott to open its Sydney office last year.

Brett Penprase will join Partners Group in a fortnight as assistant vice president and will be responsible for marketing the firm’s products and working on investment deals.

Penprase and Scott share a 15-year working history, beginning at Tyndall before progressing to Zurich, where Scott was head of investment sales and Penprase worked as an investment specialist who also sought out partnership opportunities with managers.

Together they sourced new managers with whom they negotiated investment and distribution contracts, although ultimate decisions lay with director of investments, Matt Drennan.

Penprase also worked in the operations departments of Tyndall and Zurich. He was one of 50 applicants for the role at Partners Group, and from a shortlist of two was awarded the job after a full-day interview at the manager’s head office in Baar-Zug, Switzerland.

Since opening its Sydney office in April 2008, the firm has attracted about $500 million in Australian-sourced funds under management.

The local office now employs four people: Scott and vice president Mike Siebert, investment specialist Ben Haan and Penprase.

“As assets continue to grow we will put on more people,” Scott said.

He was speaking from the firm’s Singapore office, where he was working alongside the private equity and real estate teams. Each year, distribution staff spend some time sourcing and carrying out transactions with manufacturers.

At Zurich, Penprase’s responsibilities will be split among senior investment specialist Patrick Noble and key account managers Mark Burgess and Matt Thompson, a company spokesman said.

He said Zurich would test the new arrangement before deciding whether to replace Penprase.

“We don’t have a replacement freeze, so we can fill roles, but we are being a bit more cautious about it, like most other businesses,” the spokesman said.

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