Galena Boosts Trade Finance Business

May 4 2012 | 11:37am ET

Galena Asset Management has struck upon a new strategy in its bid to double its assets under management.

The hedge fund arm of Trafigura hopes to raise U$1 billion to invest in trade and commodity finance, areas that banks have begun to shy away from. Galena has run a commodities trade finance fund since 2010.

“By participating in the financing of commodity trading operations, investors will be able to monetize the value of liquidity in a market that, until recently, has only been open to banks,” Trafigura CFO Pierre Lorinet said. “Notably, this initiative will also provide distribution channels for those banks seeking to deleverage their balance sheets.”

To boost the new effort, Galena has hired three Bank of America trade finance executives. Christoph Gugelmann, Philip Jan Kok and Stefano Sabbadini were named portfolio managers. The three will work to diversify Trafigura’s funding sources as well as developing new funds to complement the existing Commodity Trade Finance fund.

Trade finance is only the latest plan from Galena to double its assets to US$4 billion, announced late last year. The firm launched new macro and mining-focused private equity funds in the first quarter.

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