Citi reshuffles its prime broking pack

Midsummer musical chairs begins across AsiaÆs prime broking fraternity.
CitiÆs prime finance broking department in Hong Kong has lured Michael Mills at vice president level from UBS in Tokyo.

Citi now plans to split the Asian capital introductions role, with Jeff Fisher handling start-ups while Michael Mills will cover foreign investors looking at the Asian market, in addition to capital introductions with established hedge funds.

Both men are reporting to managing director Hannah Goodwin. There have been more personnel allocated to hedge fund capital raisings lately, accompanying some murmurs in the market that capital raising for new hedge fund star-ups is becoming a more intensive process unless your hedge fund already has a track record.

Goodwin, comparing the conditions in 2006 to those of today, observes, ôI would say capital raising is slightly easier but would quantify that for those more established funds with a proven track record.ö At present Citi has no plans to hold an Asian capital introductions event like some of the other local prime brokers. ôWe are going to be different and more customized,ö says Goodwin.

Citi lost its prime broking sales head Katarina Koenig recently, when she rejoined Goldman Sachs. Citi is still searching for a replacement for her but the firm says the gap hasnÆt affected business development. ôBusiness is not slowing down,ö says Hannah Goodwin. ôI have been handling sales in north Asia and have been winning mandates.ö

Separately, back at UBS and helping to fill the Michael Mills gap: Miho Okada is now handling Japanese capital introductions. Hugh Abdullah, who remains in Hong Kong with UBS, will continue to deal with Asia ex-Japan/ex-Australia capital introductions.
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