Citi announced today that its Prime Finance division has launched its Business Advisory Practice, combining hedge fund industry research and thought leadership with comprehensive consulting services. The Business Advisory Practice is designed to support hedge fund clients by partnering with them through all phases of their growth and maturity, from start-ups to institutional size funds.
“Through our work with a wide range of hedge funds, extensive industry research and Citi’s worldwide presence, Citi Prime Finance has generated significant intellectual capital, with deep operational and technological expertise,” said Alan Pace, Head of Americas Prime Finance for Citi. “The Business Advisory Practice, by partnering with hedge funds well beyond the one- to two year startup period during which most prime brokers support their clients, provides insight and expertise to funds seeking growth in an increasingly complex business and regulatory environment.”
The Business Advisory team has developed a unique framework to understand the evolutionary lifecycle of a hedge fund – the hedge fund maturity model. In developing this new maturity model for continued partnership with hedge funds, Citi conducted more than 75 in-depth interviews with hedge funds over a three year period, documenting patterns of change in the business and identifying changing client needs. Citi Prime Finance’s Business Advisory Practice will offer a full range of management and technology consulting, including start-up services, business management services, operational review assessments, technology infrastructure, and client-facing technology support. The Business Advisory Practice will also provide industry analysis and reporting, publishing quarterly white papers on industry topics, sponsoring research and issuing a monthly viewpoint on key market trends and items of interest in the hedge fund arena.
“Institutionalized hedge funds, with assets under management of $10 billion or more, have very different needs from those of start-up funds with less than $1 billion in assets,” said Sandy Kaul, who will head the Business Advisory Practice’s U.S. operations. “Citi Prime Finance is well-suited to provide the mix of consulting services, industry insight and thought leadership that hedge funds need right now.”
The management of the Business Advisory Practice has deep experience in all aspects of the hedge fund business. Ms. Kaul has worked as a portfolio manager, research analyst and program manager on the buy- and the sell-side, as well as a managing director of the Internet start-up firm, Scient, and as a partner and head of strategy for the capital markets consulting firm m.a.partners/Detica.
The management team also includes Rich Webley, U.S. Head of Management Consulting Services, who has worked within the capital markets industry for 14 years, including time on the sell-side in operations & technology change management and as a partner and head of the US consulting practice for m.a.partners/Detica. On the team is Bill Saltus, U.S. Head of Client Facing Technology, who has spent over 16 years working in financial services, managing a consulting group at a financial software company, and more recently in various integration and consulting capacities at other prime brokers.
Citi Prime Finance Business Advisory Practice Thought Leadership:
Sharing insights with the industry, the Business Advisory Practice will publish quarterly research papers examining the major organizational, operational and technology challenges facing hedge funds as they grow and mature.
The Business Advisory Practice white paper titled “Planning for Change: Understanding the Hedge Fund Maturity Model” identifies four distinct stages of hedge fund maturity: Start-up, Emerging, Institutional and Franchise, each with its own set of information and consulting needs. The paper is available upon request and on December 10, 2010 at: https://primebroker.citigroup.com/public/PlanningforChange_Dec2010.html
Citi’s research indicates that prime broker consulting teams offer extensive input and guidance in the first year or two of a hedge fund’s existence, then much less support as the fund matures.
Citi Prime Finance
Citi Prime Finance is a comprehensive, integrated business unit comprised of prime brokerage, financing solutions and capital introductions - supported by cutting edge technology and advanced reporting. By leveraging and enhancing Citi's corporate strengths in over 100 markets globally, Prime Finance now serves clients in more than 70 countries - delivering 24-hour coverage through experienced industry professionals in London, New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sydney and Singapore.
Citi, the leading global financial services company, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Through Citicorp and Citi Holdings, Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com or www.citi.com.