| HONG KONG, April 23
HONG KONG, April 23 At least four mid-level
executives are leaving Goldman Sachs Group's Asia prime
brokerage unit to join rival banks, people familiar with the
matter said, just as the regional hedge fund industry is
starting to pick up.
Prime brokers cater exclusively to hedge funds, clearing
trades and lending money. The Goldman unit was biggest firm
serving Asia's $159 billion hedge funds industry last year,
according to tracker AsiaHedge.
The sources said that Jason Berry, who had moved to Goldman
in Hong Kong in 2007 and was part of the hedge fund consulting
group, is moving to London to join Bank of America Corp.
Rob Freeman, who had also been with Goldman in Hong Kong
since 2007, is also moving to Credit Suisse as a
director in the prime services coverage team in Singapore, the
people familiar with the matter said. He will start in July.
Mark Wittet, who joined in 2011, is heading to Deutsche
Bank's prime brokerage in Hong Kong and will be
joined by his colleague Michael Ho, the people added.
Goldman Sachs declined to comment on the moves, which
analysts said were the first major staff changes after this
year's bonus payouts.
Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Bank of America Corp
declined to comment. The sources also declined to be identified
as the information is confidential.
Asia's hedge fund industry is starting to recover after six
years of sluggish growth, helped partly by a stock market rally
in Japan and bets on Chinese sectors such as technology and
Regional hedge funds returned nearly 16 percent last year,
their best annual performance since 2009, according to data from
Eurekahedge. The industry also added $20 billion in assets in
2013, its first growth in three years, but the assets under
management is $33 billion below its 2007 peak, according to
For prime brokers' mandates and assets under management in
Asia click: link.reuters.com/syd38t
(Additional reporting by Simon Jessop in LONDON; Editing by
Denny Thomas and Miral Fahmy)