NEW YORK — Lazard Asset Management, a division of the investment banking firm Lazard Freres, hired three bankers formerly of J.P. Morgan’s investment management hedge fund group in an effort to expand its alternative investments division.

Christian Frei, former head of J.P. Morgan’s hedge fund group; Christopher Boyatt, who was in charge of research for the group; and Chris Heasman, who led development and portfolio management, are to research and develop alternative investments for Lazard, including fund-of-funds strategies and due diligence platforms.

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