Ex-Morgan Stanley Exec. Joins Portman Sq.

Sep 26 2012 | 11:49am ET

Citigroup's former top proprietary trader has hired an old colleague to serve as CEO of his new hedge fund.

Portman Square Capital Management, founded last year by Sutesh Sharma, has named Andrew Mack CEO and chief risk officer, Financial News reports. Mack is formerly head of Europe and Morgan Stanley Investment Management; Sharma was head of prop. trading at Morgan before leaving the firm to co-found hedge fund Old Lane Partners in 2006; Sharma joined Citi when it acquired Old Lane in 2008.

London-based Portman Square, which won U.K. Financial Services Authority approval last week, is set to launch its maiden multi-strategy relative-value fund on Nov. 1. The fund is expected to garner US$500 million, which would make it one of the largest hedge fund launches of the year.

Mack spent 14 years at Morgan Stanley. He became head of prime brokerage sales in Europe the year Sharma left the bank, and eventually rose to become chief risk officer for MSIM and then in 2009 its European chief. He left the bank in 2010.

Mack joins a team that includes Old Lane alums Lalit Das, Yusaf Khan and Ramakrishna Putcha, and former Citi employees Toby Lingard, who serves a chief operating officer, David Darmouni, Paul Godfrey, Akash Gupta, Sylvain Imbert, Imad Kanaan and Jake Turner. The firm also features alumni of Brevan Howard Asset Management, Citadel Investment Group, ICAP Securities and Moore Capital Management.

Much of the team comes from Sharma's Equity Principal Strategies desk at Citi. The bank closed that operation in February to come into compliance with the Volcker rule barring banks from prop. trading. Portman Square actually occupies EPS' former offices in Marylebone, which also formerly housed Old Lane's London office.

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