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Ex-Bank of America executive Malik to launch fund advisory firm

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Omeed Malik, a former Bank of America Merrill Lynch executive, is preparing to launch an advisory firm for hedge funds and other so-called alternative investment managers, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Malik, 38, plans to offer fundraising, marketing, public relations and operational consulting services to hedge funds, private equity, private debt and other strategies that position themselves as alternatives to more traditional investment vehicles, the person said on Thursday on condition of anonymity.

He had been global head of capital strategy at Bank of America’s prime brokerage unit, which serves hedge fund clients. He left on Jan. 9.

Malik hopes to launch his as-yet unnamed New York-based firm in the first half of the year, the person said, and is meeting with potential equity investors and clients. He is also exploring the possibility of a joint venture with an existing business.

Hedge funds, known for relatively high fees and limited access, have faced a more difficult fundraising environment in recent years as their performance has often lagged the stock market and other benchmarks.

Despite the industry’s woes, prime brokerage relationships are highly sought-after by banks for the fees that can be earned from hedge fund trades.

At Bank of America, Malik also led its emerging manager program, which worked with smaller hedge fund managers to provide financing and business consulting.

Before Bank of America, Malik worked at Jon Corzine’s now-defunct brokerage MF Global Holdings Ltd and as a corporate attorney at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.

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