Nicole Arnaboldi, vice chairman of alternative investments of Credit Suisse, has long hewed to a belief that bear markets often present the best opportunities to generate profits.

This past year didn't quite shape up that way, given a portfolio writedown in line with markets that Arnaboldi says was "not fun." But one challenging year hasn't shaken her belief that there are opportunities aplenty while financial markets are still in the process of returning to a sense of equilibrium.

To position the group to take advantage of those expected opportunities, Credit Suisse has expanded the asset management distribution team with the appointment of 18 new professionals around the world. "That's a huge investment to make in this environment," Arnaboldi says. "We want to invest for the future. People are going to continue to put capital in alternative investments; we're going to continue to grow, and we want the best team of people to build relationships with key clients on a global basis."

Also, the group has launched several new funds over the past year, some of which exploit niche markets, such as leveraged senior loans and preferred REIT stock, and some of which target markets that have held up fairly well, such as Swiss real estate.

Notwithstanding a big rebound in the credit markets over the past few months, Arnaboldi says, "there are still dislocations that create market opportunities - they aren't over yet."

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