Eashwar Krishnan, a former analyst at hedge fund Lone Pine, and Tanvir Ghani, former head of capital introduction for Asia-Pacific at Goldman Sachs Group Inc , are setting up an Asia-focused hedge fund, three sources familiar with the matter said.
They are aiming to raise about $1 billion (639 million pounds), hoping to break into a very small group of funds of that size in Asia.
The fund will be based in Hong Kong, with an expected launch in April, said the sources, who declined to be named as the plan was not publicly disclosed.
The sources said Ghani, who left Goldman Sachs in November after more than a decade at the Wall Street bank, would be the fund's chief operating officer.
Krishnan would lead the fund as chief investment officer, one of the sources said.
Krishnan could not be reached for comment. An e-mail to Ghani did not get a reply.
COMPETING FOR ATTENTION
The launch will compete for investor attention in 2012 with offerings from regional industry veterans such as former Asia head of Highbridge Capital Carl Huttenlocher and Seth Fischer, who once managed $3.3 billion for DKR Soundshore Oasis Fund.
Huttenlocher aims to raise $2 billion by mid-2012 in the hedge fund he launched on December 1.
Only 29 hedge fund firms in Asia managed more than $1 billion in January 2011, data from industry tracker HedgeFund Intelligence showed. By comparison, the United States had 216 such firms and Britain had 65.
Krishnan's and Ghani's start-up will join those from the likes of former Goldman Sachs trader Morgan Sze, who has launched one of the biggest hedge funds in Asia. Sze's fund Azentus started with about $1 billion earlier in April, making it a blockbuster hedge fund launch of the year.
Greenwich-based Lone Pine Capital, one of the largest hedge fund firms in the word, was founded in 1997 by Steve Mandel, one of several 'Tiger Cubs' who split from hedge fund industry pioneer Julian Robertson's Tiger Management.
Lone Pine had a total fund value of $12.3 billion according to a September filing.
(Editing by Chris Lewis, Jonathan Hopfner and Muralikumar Anantharaman)