May 7, 2018 / 8:30 PM / 16 days ago

Wilshire Funds Management's head of alternatives leaving firm

BOSTON (Reuters) - Nicolas Amato, who heads the alternative investment activities at Wilshire Funds Management, is leaving the firm, a person familiar with the move said.

Wilshire Associates, based in Santa Monica, California, hired Amato three years ago as a managing director and head of Alternative Portfolio Management at Wilshire Funds Management.

Amato has managed alternative investment portfolios and led the group’s alternatives research team, which focuses on hedge funds, liquid alternatives and risk premia strategies.

His last day at Wilshire is Monday. Wilshire declined to comment.

While hedge funds have delivered lackluster returns and investor confidence has ebbed for a number of years, industry analysts say the asset class may find new favor now that market volatility has returned and investors are eager for firms like Wilshire to help them create portfolios and research managers.

Amato joined Wilshire after a decade at Dorchester Capital, an alternative investment firm where he was a partner and managed portfolios of hedge funds and oversaw research and risk management groups.

Last week Andrew Jarrous, a vice president for hedge fund manager research who covered global macro and relative value strategies and reported to Amato, also left Wilshire.

Jarrous is joining HighMark Capital Management, the investment management arm of Union Bank. He will reunite with former colleagues Razmig Der-Tavitian and James St. Aubin who left the Wilshire alternative investment team in 2015. Jarrous did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Wilshire Associates was founded by Dennis Tito in 1972 and ranks among the industry’s best known consulting and investment firms. It developed the Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index, which is widely viewed as a benchmark for U.S. stocks performance.

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Leslie Adler

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