, the giant Chicago-based hedge fund, announced the launch of its investment banking division Friday.
The firm said in a press release it had hired three senior investment bankers from
Bank of America
. The trio, led by Todd Kaplan, joined BofA as part of the bank's much-maligned acquisition of
at the start of the year.
Citadel had already established businesses not traditionally associated with hedge funds, such as acting as an intermediary on securities trades.
Citadel's main asset management business lost 55% last year, but has rebounded this year and is up 11% through April 24, according to
The Wall Street Journal
. That 2009 performance handily beat the
index, which has lost ground during that time frame.
Citadel , whose plans to go public were cut short by the credit crisis, enters an investment banking business that has changed dramatically in the past year. Industry heavyweights
are now bank holding companies regulated by the
, while other established players like
and Merrill went bankrupt or were acquired. Smaller players like
Greenhill & Co.
are trying to fill the vacuum, with mixed results so far.