Citigroup’s former head of currencies Anil Prasad, once one of the most powerful bankers in foreign exchange, is shutting his hedge fund, making him the latest big-name manager to close in a bruising period for the industry.
New York-based Mr Prasad, who was Citi’s global head of FX and local markets before leaving in 2014, set up Silver Ridge Asset Management the same year and raised more than $500m in a high-profile launch.
However, he has decided to shut the fund and is now in the process of returning investors’ cash, people familiar with the plans said. The move was a personal decision and he now planned to pursue other interests, one of the people said.
Silver Ridge declined to comment.
Mr Prasad joins a growing list of high-profile traders who have called time on their hedge funds, amid lacklustre returns and waning investor interest in the $3.3tn industry.
Star trader Louis Bacon’s Moore Capital told investors in November it was closing its flagship hedge funds to new money, with Mr Bacon citing “disappointing results” in recent years. Also late last year, Jens-Peter Stein and Kornelius Klobucar told investors they would shut their Stone Milliner hedge fund.
Former GLG star Philippe Jabre, Omega Advisors’ Leon Cooperman and Eton Park’s Eric Mindich are also among those to have closed funds in recent years.
Silver Ridge, so named because Mr Prasad started his career as a silver trader, made marginal gains in 2016 before returning 10.8 per cent the following year. It lost more than 11 per cent in a testing 2018, in large part due to bets against the dollar.
However, the fund, which has been managing less than $400m in assets, returned to winning ways last year with a 17 per cent gain, according to a person familiar with its performance. It has been betting on themes such as the inclusion of Saudi Arabia in major equity indices and on global growth stabilising. Last summer founding partner Farhang Mehregani, who also previously worked at Citi, left the fund.
Macro funds — which trade bonds, currencies and other assets globally — have often struggled in recent years amid huge levels of central bank stimulus. But many made gains last year thanks to bets on falling government bond yields, with funds on average gaining 6.5 per cent, according to data group HFR.
The launch of Mr Prasad’s fund was held up by UK regulator the Financial Conduct Authority, which was investigating allegations of manipulation of the foreign exchange market. In November 2014 Citi was among five banks fined by the FCA for failing to control business practices. Silver Ridge began trading at the start of 2016, having received the go-ahead from the regulator.