Citigroup’s Raytcheva Said to Depart to Start Macro Hedge Fund

  • Anna Raytcheva’s prop-trading team was disbanded in May
  • Trader plans to develop systematic fund in coming months

Citigroup Inc. mortgage trader Anna Raytcheva, who most recently ran a trading desk that wagered the bank’s money, will leave the firm later this month.

Raytcheva, who joined the Citibank options-trading desk in 1994, is departing on Aug. 29 to pursue other opportunities, according to an Aug. 17 memo sent by Mark Tsesarsky, head of the bank’s securitized markets business. Raytcheva plans to start a systematic hedge fund with a discretionary overlay in the coming months that will bet on macro events, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be named because the information is private.

Danielle Romero-Apsilos, a bank spokeswoman, confirmed the contents of the memo and declined to comment further. Raytcheva declined to comment. The Wall Street Journal reported her departure earlier Thursday.

Raytcheva is jumping into hedge funds as macro managers struggle even more than most investors. The average hedge fund posted a 1.2 percent gain this year through July, while macro funds rose less than 0.1 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Systematic funds use computer-driven models to analyze data in helping to make wagers.

Raytcheva enjoyed a rare mandate on Wall Street in trading for the bank’s own account after much of the industry shut down proprietary trading in the wake of new rules that limited the once-lucrative business. Raytcheva’s group, a handful of traders known internally as the strategic-trading desk, wagered with government securities, which are exempt from the prohibitions, until Citigroup decided to shutter the team in May as market opportunities began drying up.

Raytcheva, a Princeton University-educated trader who immigrated to the U.S. from Bulgaria, was put in charge of the team in 2014 after running the firm’s agency-mortgage trading desk. At the time, the group managed about $1 billion of investments, and didn’t have clients. Prior to those two roles, she lost billions of dollars for the New York-based lender during the financial crisis when her mortgage bets soured, Bloomberg News reported in 2014.

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