Credit Suisse Group AG, the second- largest Swiss bank, hired Vasundhara Pradeep from UBS AG to head consulting services for hedge funds within its prime brokerage division in Asia-Pacific, according to an internal memo.
Pradeep will start in mid-June as a Hong Kong-based director, said the memo obtained by Bloomberg News yesterday. Adam Harper, a Hong Kong-based spokesman for Credit Suisse, confirmed its content, declining to comment further because there hasn’t been a public announcement.
Credit Suisse created the new position in Asia as bank layoffs and hedge fund closures during the global credit crisis spurred a string of hedge fund startups. Global managers such as Soros Fund Management LLC and Algebris Investments LLP are also setting up a presence in the region for the first time or returning.
Prime brokerage provides services such as clearing trades, lending cash and securities to hedge funds, and linking them with potential investors. Consulting services help hedge fund startups locate office space, recruit staff, find service providers, and assist established managers in their efforts to improve technology, office infrastructure and set up offices in new locations.
Pradeep was a Hong Kong-based director on UBS’s prime brokerage sales and business consulting team. She had been a management consultant with Accenture Plc in London before joining UBS.
Globally, 454 new hedge funds were set up in the second half of 2009. Starts outpaced liquidations in the second half of last year for the first time since the first half of 2008, according to Chicago-based data provider Hedge Fund Research Inc.
Twenty-five global funds are in different stages of setting up an Asian office, Deutsche Bank AG said in a note recapping first quarter Asian hedge fund trends.
At least four prime brokers left UBS recently, some poached by rivals. Hugh Abdullah, former head of UBS prime brokerage’s capital introduction team in Asia-Pacific, left to become an executive director of Morgan Stanley’s prime brokerage division.
Claudia Kwik, also on the capital introduction team, left UBS, said two people with knowledge of the matter; Darrin Wong, previously on UBS’s prime services sales team, has also left, one of them said.
UBS has lined up replacements for the departures, including new hires, he added. They may be announced in two to three weeks.
Chris Cockerill, a Hong Kong-based spokesman for UBS, declined to comment.