River and Mercantile, a UK-based investment manager, has launched its first unit trust in Australia and appointed Tim Horan as the managing director of its newly launched Australia and New Zealand business.

Horan, a former executive at Australian banking group Westpac, will manage the establishment of the firm’s office in the region.

River and Mercantile asset management CEO James Barham said: “Australia and New Zealand are key strategic markets in our global development. Since 2013, we have had clients in Australia and New Zealand, but with increasing demand for our services, we recognise the importance of having a greater presence in this region with dedicated leadership.

“We are exceptionally pleased that Tim is joining the business to establish our office and build out our relationships across the Institutional, Wholesale and Family Trust markets.”

The new unit trust, dubbed River and Mercantile Global High Alpha Fund, will be offered to institutional investors from this month.

“We have been working collaboratively with the investment consulting community and institutional investors in Australia and New Zealand since 2013, designing truly actively managed products that meet the genuine needs and investment appetite of this region. Responding to increasing demand, we are very proud to now be able to offer this fund to a broader audience,” Barham stated.

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The latest move comes shortly after the firm’s establishment of its New York City office. The firm hired David Rosenblum and Tom Cassara as its managing directors and members of the US Solutions Leadership Team.  The pair join from Mercer.

River and Mercantile head of global solutions Jack Berry said: “The addition of Tom and Dave to our US team enhances River and Mercantile’s position in the US actuarial and investment solutions marketplace. Their significant expertise and profile, combined with our increased presence in the New York area will help to accelerate our growth in these areas.”