Deepak Gulati, a former head of global equity proprietary trading at JPMorgan Chase & Co., started investing at his own hedge fund after raising about $300 million, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
Argentiere Capital AG, run by Gulati, 35, and a team of former colleagues from JPMorgan, started trading yesterday from its base in Zug, Switzerland, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the move hasn’t been made public. The fund will focus on volatility trades, betting on the rate at which stocks rise or fall. Gulati declined to comment on the fundraising or his backers yesterday.
He joins a growing group of traders who’ve left banks since the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in 2008 prompted U.S. regulators to try to limit risk-taking by lenders, through the so-called Volcker rule, a law that tries to prevent lenders from using federally-insured deposits to make speculative bets.
Still, former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Nomura Holdings Inc. executives who left to start hedge funds in the past three years have already shut their firms down after they lost money amid markets dominated by Europe’s sovereign debt crisis. Pierre-Henri Flamand, former head of Goldman Sachs’s biggest proprietary-trading unit, and Herve Gallo, a former equity- derivatives trader at Nomura, have both shut their funds.
Argentiere, named after a skiing village in the French Alps, has 15 employees, including seven former JPMorgan workers focused on trading and investment analysis, the people said. The firm plans to stop seeking additional investors if assets climb to $750 million, the people said.
The firm also has portfolio managers who make event-driven bets and others who make quantitative wagers. Event-driven investors try to profit from corporate actions such as acquisitions, bankruptcies and buybacks, while quant investors use mathematical models to predict changes in asset prices.