It may be something of an exaggeration to say that Citadel Investment Group’s name is mud, but the firm is bowing to the reality that perception is, well, reality.
The Chicago alternative investments giant is renaming its fund administration business in an effort to distance that unit from its powerful parent. Citadel Solutions will be renamed Omnium, The Wall Street Journal reports, referencing an elite bicycling competition.
Wherefore does the Citadel rose not smell so sweet? The firm is reportedly concerned that branding the fund administration unit Citadel both scares investors in Citadel’s own funds, as well as potential clients of the administration. The former are increasingly pushing for third-party administrators, while some of the latter have balked at bandying about the Citadel name to their investors.
Citadel hopes the Omnium solution solves both problems, convincing investors that its fund administration arm is managed separately from its fund management arm, as well as providing a pleasing distance for other funds that might hire it.
The newly-renamed unit could indeed be on the verge of landing its biggest client, other than Citadel itself. Lehman Brothers, the bankrupt investment bank, wants to hire the firm to develop and oversee accounting and trading technology for its bankruptcy proceedings, and has asked a court for permission to do so. The move comes just weeks after Citadel itself, on behalf of one of its funds, lodged a $470 million claim against Lehman in bankruptcy court.