Citi To Boost Institutional Hedge Fund Services

Mar 22 2010 | 1:11pm ET

Citigroup is cutting back in all sorts of areas at the government’s behest. Prime brokerage, however, is not one of them.

The banking giant, which the U.S. Treasury still owns a 27% stake in, will double the size of its institutional hedge fund advisory team over the next two years. Citi will focus especially on building its team in Asia, according to Nick Roe, global head of prime finance at the firm.

“We see it as one of the major growth areas for us,” he told Bloomberg News. “The pension funds, the institutional asset market are going directly to hedge funds. It was the reverse of what the investor profile was two years ago.”

Citi’s prime finance consulting team currently numbers 30, focused on the U.S. and Europe. The group features a variety “one-stop” services for institutional investors. The bank built a proprietary trading team for the Danish pension fund ATP two years ago, and helps institutional investors build in-house hedge fund teams as well as advising on external allocations. Citi also offers trade clearing, fund valuation, custody, financing and managed-account services to clients.

The bank is now bringing those servings to Asia, when the prime brokerage team as a whole has grown by six people to about 60 professionals since December.

“We will be adding around 10% headcount to the team in the coming year in Asia-Pacific to support our growth,” Hannah Goodwin, regional head of prime finance in Asia, told Bloomberg.

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