SJ Berwin grows alternatives practice

The European law firm has hired Achim Pütz to head the firm’s German hedge funds and capital market group based in Munich.

SJ Berwin has added to its European alternative investment team with the appointment of Achim Pütz as a partner at the UK law firm’s German office. Pütz is the co-founder and chairman of the German Alternative Investments Association.


Pütz will report to the London based hedge funds team led by Bruce Gardner and is part of SJ Berwin’s plans to expand its already significant presence in the alternative investments market. The firm intends to focus on hedge funds and capital market instruments on a pan-European basis as well as a special focus on private equity and real estate funds.


Pütz will lead SJ Berwin's German hedge funds and capital market group at the firm’s Munich office, which is headed by senior partner Uwe Steininger.


'We are increasingly working on a wide variety of investment fund structures, private equity funds, property funds, hedge funds and funds of funds across our European practice,” said Jonathan Blake, head of SJ Berwin's European private equity team. “Pütz's expertise and experience in derivatives and capital markets instruments are important to all of these.” 


The appointment is part of plans by SJ Berwin to expand the firm's alternative fund capabilities. 'We are looking to expand our offering across a range of crossover funds, including real estate, private equity and hedge offerings,' said Bruce Gardner.


Practitioners report that European investors are developing an appetite for crossover funds that combine private equity and hedge fund investment techniques. Private equity funds typically generate a negative return early on in their life cycle as it takes time for the general partner to invest the fund's capital. Investing in hedge fund instruments alongside private equity investments can help modify this so-called J-curve effect during the formative years of a fund.