Chris Hsu, the CEO of Abax Global Capital, has left his position at the high-profile hedge fund. Hsu founded Abax in the summer of 2007, in one of last year's most significant hedge fund launches.

In a rare occurrence, Morgan Stanley Investment Management acquired a stake in the start-up. Hsu remains a major shareholder of Abax.

Hsu was formerly a managing director of the special-situations group at Citadel in Hong Kong before establishing Abax along with three partners: Donald Yang, Abax's president and former head of Hong Kong and China debt capital markets at Merrill Lynch; Danny Yong, CIO and former Citadel managing director who was responsible for founding its Asia relative-value and macro teams; and Frank Qian, chief risk officer and also a former founding member of Citadel's Asia business.

The fund launched with $300 million, which while quite an achievement, actually disappointed some observers who thought that Abax might bring in more than $1 billion in its first drawdown. Its first cornerstone investment was a stake in a pulp and paper plant in Indonesia. That took place shortly after establishment and it is safe to calculate that going long in Indonesia in mid-2007 can't make for a rosy mark-to-market picture in late 2008.

When the fund launched, AsianInvestor drew attention to the envy voiced in some corners of the hedge fund community towards Hsu û a wunderkind who was just 26 when he founded the fund. Never a warm and fuzzy industry, those people might feel a sense of schadenfreude today.

As Hsu still has two years to go before he reaches the age of 30, a comeback can't be long in the offing.