Meru Capital Hedge Fund Launch
Old Lane Partners Launch One of Largest Startups of 2009Four hedge fund veterans have opened a new fund, Meru Capital Group. The four previously founded the Citigroup Inc. fund Old Lane and now have teamed up again to launch one of the largest hedge fund startups this year.
The New York-based fund, Meru Capital Group, started trading Tuesday with some $300 million in capital, more than $75 million of that belonging to Mr. Ramakrishnan and partners, say people familiar with the matter.
Meru Capital partners' roots run back to Morgan Stanley, where Mr. Ramakrishnan was head of global equity trading until his 2005 departure alongside Vikram Pandit, now CEO of Citigroup. The next year they and other Morgan Stanley refugees co-founded Old Lane.
In July 2007, Citigroup paid some $800 million to acquire the hedge fund, but it struggled to gain traction and was closed in September 2008, an embarrassment for Citigroup. By then, Mr. Pandit had moved up as Citigroup's CEO.
Mr. Ramakrishnan, 44 years old, left Citigroup in December 2008.
Three other Meru principals—Jonathan Barton, Jeff Moskowitz and Ajay Khanna—also worked in trading or securities-financing roles at Morgan Stanley. They and Meru's other two founding partners, Upender Rao and Ashwin Kumar, all came out of Old Lane. Source
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