Hedge fund manager Arie Assayag is leaving Societe Generale to set up his own independent hedge fund, the bank said on Tuesday.

The bank, denying an earlier article in La Tribune newspaper, said SocGen would not provide any capital for the new vehicle. Assayag was head of SGAM Alternative Investments (SAI) and La Tribune said he was leaving and taking with him some 15 members of staff to create a new outfit called Premium Asset Management (PAM).

Assayag will be replaced with Benoit Ruaudel, his deputy, until the completion of a planned merger between the SAI and Lyxor operations within Societe Generale.

(Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Greg Mahlich)