Goldman Sachs Trader Raj Sethi Said to Quit, May Join Hedge Fund

Raj Sethi, a managing director in Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS)’s commodity-derivatives trading group, quit after 14 years and may join a hedge fund, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Sethi, 35, who once ran the bank’s U.S. power-trading business, left earlier this week, said the person who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Ben Jacobs, a vice president in the commodities group, also quit last week, the person said.

Sethi and Jacobs, who traded the firm’s money as part of their jobs, add to the exodus of proprietary traders who have left New York-based Goldman Sachs and other firms because of new U.S. regulations. The Volcker rule, named for former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, seeks to reduce the chance that banks will make risky investments with their own capital and put depositors’ money at risk.

Michael Duvally, a Goldman Sachs spokesman, declined to comment on the departures.

Goldman Sachs started shuttering its proprietary-trading desk in 2010, prompting Pierre-Henri Flamand and Morgan Sze, who had run the global principal strategies group, to start their own hedge funds in London and Hong Kong.

Macro Fund

In the U.S., Bennett Grau and Mark Mallon are teaming up with former colleague Marc Mezvinsky to start a global macro hedge fund this year, a person with knowledge of their plans said last year.

Sethi joined Goldman Sachs in 1998 in New York and later moved to Singapore and London, where he traded oil and other commodities. He returned to New York in 2006 and most recently traded commodities with a macro focus. Macro is a strategy that seeks to profit from broad economic trends by trading everything from currencies to bonds.

Taimur Hassan, who was responsible for Goldman Sachs’s oil trading across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, quit in December to start his own hedge fund, Financial News reported last month, citing company filings and sources familiar with the matter.

To contact the reporter on this story: Saijel Kishan in New York at skishan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christian Baumgaertel at cbaumgaertel@bloomberg.net

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