Credit Suisse Asset Management has merged the U.S. investment management operations of Banco de Investimentos Garantia into its own New York office.

The four-person operation was merged last month into BEA Associates, Credit Suisse's U.S.-based investment unit, said Alain De Coster, a managing director who came over from Sao Paolo-based Garantia. Credit Suisse Group bought Garantia, which is one of Brazil's leading investment banks, for an undisclosed sum in July.

Garantia brought roughly $1 billion of assets to Credit Suisse, said Mr. De Coster. Credit Suisse Asset Management manages $138 billion of assets worldwide.

The New York team manages a "fund of funds" operation involving four products, primarily hedge funds aimed at institutional investors and high- net-worth clients. Funds of funds seek diversification by investing in a range of funds or portfolios.

One of the hedge funds, the First World Equity Hedge Fund, buys and sells short equities from Group of Seven nations, said Mr. De Coster. Another fund, the Macro Hedge and Emerging Markets Fund, is an "aggressive" product that invests in less-developed nations, he said. "The mandate is really global," he said.

In New York, Credit Suisse will benefit from what Mr. De Coster described as a "cross-fertilization" strategy. He said the bank would try and sell these sophisticated investment vehicles to corporations that the bank works with on other levels, such as in capital markets.

Credit Suisse also gained 10 people on the asset management side in Sao Paolo, who manage Brazilian strategies in fixed-income and equities. Mr. De Coster said he is undeterred by market turmoil both in Brazil and worldwide, saying he looks at the market in the "long term."

Indeed, Credit Suisse plans to use Brazil as a launching pad to explore asset management opportunities elsewhere in Latin America, in countries such as Chile and Argentina, said Mr. De Coster.

The Swiss bank has been building its investment business in recent months. It recently formed an alliance with New York based-fund company Warburg Pincus Asset Management to increase its presence in the retail area. Credit Suisse and $23 billion-asset Warburg will begin marketing investment products globally this fall.

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