Ex-Citi bankers forced to close Asian focused Primus Financial

City A.M. Reporter
THREE ex-Citigroup bankers who raised $1bn (£620m) to invest in pan-Asia financial services have closed the fund after a string of setbacks and the region’s failure to deliver hoped-for bargains in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

Robert Morse, Wing-Fai Ng and Guocang Huan – all with long experience in Asian financial M&A – launched Primus Financial Holdings in Hong Kong in 2009.

A spokesperson for Primus Financial Holdings confirmed the fund’s closure, but declined further comment.

Primus Financial Holdings did not record a single publicly disclosed successful investment, although a person familiar with the fund’s activities said it made several hundred million dollars’ worth of private investments that were sold before the fund was shut down.

Primus Financial planned to buy assets in regional wholesale banking, insurance and asset management.

Morse was Citi’s Asia head of global investment banking and led the institutional client group in Asia until 2008.

Huan ran HSBC’s Asia-Pacific investment banking unit after a stint at Citi, and Ng left Citi’s Salomon Smith Barney to join Fubon Financial as head of corporate strategy in 2000.