Citi targets hedge funds with prime brokerage platform

Citi targets hedge funds with prime brokerage platform

Citigroup has launched OpenPrime, a trading and portfolio management system developed specially for the hedge fund market that is based on technology from France-based Linedata Services.

OpenPrime will offer capabilities in four core areas - order and portfolio management, portfolio analytics and reporting, trade entry and routing and portfolio accounting.

Developed jointly by Citi's global transaction services and prime brokerage businesses, the prime brokerage platform is powered by Linedata's hosted Beauchamp technology and Citi's middle office and fund administration services.

Citi says the system "facilitates multi-strategy, multi-asset class and multi-currency investing and allows funds to go multi-prime in a secure, neutrally-hosted environment". The new platform will equip funds to utilise a "one-stop" platform to manage complex portfolios and help satisfy investor and regulatory requirements.

Ali Hackett, MD and co-head of global equity finance at Citi, says the platform will "facilitate the transition to multiple prime brokers in a timely, cost effective manner".

The Beauchamp suite provides full front-to-back functionality, including electronic trading, real-time positions/P&L and fund accounting and the system interfaces with multiple executing and prime brokers. The pacakage includes a real-time portfolio management application that allows aggregation and examination of portfolios.

Linedata acquired the technology when it bought out Beauchamp Financial Technology in November last year.

Nobel Gulati, managing director at Citigroup Global Markets, says the Beauchamp system was selected because it provides a rich functionality set, focused exclusively on hedge funds.

"The Beauchamp product suite is a core component of our initial offering, which we will integrate with a number of Citigroup's prime brokerage, execution and fund services products and solutions," adds Gulati.

The launch of the OpenPrime platform comes amid growing competition among investment banks to offer advanced "prime brokerage" services to the expanding hedge fund market. In June this year Credit Suisse teamed with New York investment technology vendor Paladyne to deliver hosted multi-prime broker trading service to hedge funds. In February JPMorgan acquired the middle and back office operations of Paloma Partners Management Company in a move to build a complete suite of outsourced services for hedge fund operations and administration.

Citi says this "strategic technology push", coupled with other recent investments the firm has made, bolsters its competitive edge in fund administration and prime brokerage.

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