MFS Investment Management has opened a new alternative investments subsidiary that will provide products specifically geared for institutional clients as well as seed and expansion capital for hedge funds. MFS will offer operational and systems support.

“Our institutional clients are increasingly demanding alternative investments to complement long-only strategies and diversify their portfolios,” said MFS President and Chief Executive Officer Robert J. Manning. “Our evolution into the alternative investments business is a natural and thoughtful extension of our core business.”

Thomas A. Knott will serve as president of the new subsidiary, Four Pillars Capital, and Eric Lass as chief investment officer. Knott comes to Four Pillars from value-oriented hedge fund K Capital Partners, which he co-founded in 1998. Lass was a managing director and portfolio manager at K Capital.

“Hedge fund failures are commonly the result of operational problems,” Knott said. “MFS will provide extensive operational support in addition to state-of-the-art risk management tools to help mitigate this risk.”

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