JP Morgan has announced the appointment of Chris Morrell as an emerging markets portfolio manager.He joins from Merrill Lynch, where he was a managing director responsible for global emerging markets equity sales. Morrell, who has 19 years’ experience in equity markets, will manage the firm’s Global Emerging Markets Total Return funds. The total return investment strategy is designed to exploit the volatility in emerging markets. It capitalises on the opportunities these factors create to deliver outperformance. In contrast to traditional emerging markets funds, the total return funds exploit short-term volatility and inefficiencies by using combinations of shorter-term, non-traditional strategies such as derivatives and currency overlay to deliver alpha. The aim is to return positive performance, whether emerging markets go up or down. JPM launched the total return concept in global emerging markets with the launch of the JF Ultra Korea fund in August 2005. JF Ultra Japan was then established in January 2006 and JPM Ultra Global Emerging Markets in February 2006. Both these funds are for overseas investors. However, in the second or third quarter this year, JPM will launch the Global Emerging Markets Alpha Plus fund, which will be aimed at UK and European investors. More than 40 investment professionals make up the global emerging markets team at JP Morgan, and they are located in nine investment centres around the world. The team manages $18bn (9.8bn) in assets under management and has funds invested in all the major emerging markets.