Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Citigroup in talks to buy to hedge fund Old Lane for $600 mn; fund boss Vikram Pandit may get to head Citi’s alternative investments unit

Global banking giant Citigroup is in talks to buy Old Lane, a hedge fund firm co-founded by ex-Morgan Stanley senior executive Vikram Pandit. If such a deal happens, Mr. Pandit would probably be on his way to heading the bank’s alternative investments unit, and probably, also the top job at the world’s largest bank.

The purchase price for Old Lane is estimated to be around $600 mn. Old Lane is thought to have more than $4 bn of assets under management. The alternative investments unit is the smallest of Citigroup's four main businesses. In 2006, profit at the unit fell 11% to $1.28 bn, and revenue dropped 15% to $2.9 bn. The unit at year-end oversaw $49.2 bn of assets, including $10.7 bn of Citigroup's prop money.

Vikram Pandit is a former head of Morgan Stanley's institutional securities division. Once considered a potential successor to former Morgan Stanley chief executive Philip Purcell, Pandit left the investment bank in March 2005 as part of an exodus of senior bankers and traders. He later founded Old Lane with his Morgan Stanley colleagues John Havens and Guru Ramkrishnan.

Read more in The Economic Times article.

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