Citigroup establishes Asian hedge fund platform

Ex-GIC Albert Ee appointed president.

Tribeca, Citigroup's hedge fund platform seeded with $2 billion of proprietary capital, has set up its Asia headquarters in Singapore. Albert Ee, previously deputy director of foreign exchange at Singapore's GIC, has been appointed president of Tribeca's operations in the region.

Commenting on the group's new Asian presence Ee says, "There are several opportunities for hedge fund strategies in Asia given the the freeing up of Asia's capital markets, increasing access to stock loan and developments in the region's fixed income markets"

Ee says Tribeca is looking to build up an Asian mutli-strategy team that can trade across asset classes using a variety of trading strategies throughout the region.

"We're currently working on growing the team and have sent out a few offer letters to traders already," says Ee. He expects the Asian team to grow to around 25 people, including 13 to 17 traders supported by operations and risk management professionals.

Ee says the $2 billion Citigroup-seeded fund will soon open its doors to outside institutional investors. He believes Asian institutions could be among those most interested in the Tribeca hedge fund product and help grow its global AUM to a target $10 billion.

Commenting on the choice of Singapore as the location for Tribeca's Asian headquarters, Ee says, "The hedge fund industry in Singapore is reaching critical mass. Coupled with the growth in private banking activities, Singapore will be a truly exciting place for funds management."

And he adds, "Singapore has a friendly and transparent regulatory environment conducive for the hedge fund industry."

As such, Tribeca joins the likes of global hedge funds Tudor, Everest Capital, Oak Tree and Cargill's Blackriver fund in choosing Singapore as its Asian headquarters.

Launched in 2004, Citigroup set up Tribeca with the goal catering to the requirements of institutional hedge fund investors by building a multi-strategy hedge fund platform that could benefit from economies of scale and the ability to shift assets dynamically between strategies. Tribeca envisages building up to 50 strategies in its institutional hedge fund platform globally.

To bring this vision to life, ex-Caxton hedge fund star, Tanya Styblo Beder, was brought on board as Tribeca's CEO and tasked with building the new business from scratch. Under her leadership the platform has built scale rapidly, recruiting dozens of traders and launching 14 strategies to date.

"The hedge fund industry is at a turning point," Beder concludes. "The growth of institutional participation is rapidly outpacing individual participation - leading to the need for a long-run, institutional platform. The new Asia trading platform will allow Tribeca Investments to meet these needs."