Former Goldman Sachs trader earns $2.5bn in bank bet

24 December 2009

A hedge fund manager in the US is to pocket $2.5 billion after betting that banks such as Lloyds TSB and Citigroup would recover following the credit crunch.

David Tepper, a former junk bond trader at Goldman Sachs, invested in the global banking industry earlier in the year by buying shares in financial institutions such as Bank of America and Citigroup, priced at $3 and less than $1 respectively.

The trader earned his hedge fund Appaloosa Management $7 billion worth of profit after the value of the shares recovered over the year.

The increases mean that the business has grown by 120 per cent since the start of 2009 with total funds now reaching $12 billion.

Mr Tepper told the Wall Street Journal that he was one of the only traders investing during the financial crisis.

“I felt like I was alone ... no one was even bidding,” he said.

Alan Shealy, a client of Mr Tepper, added: “Investing with David is like flying, with hours of boredom followed by bouts of sheer terror.
He's the quintessential opportunist, investing in any asset class, but you have to have a cast-iron stomach."

The fund manager has a track record of achieving average annual gains of 30 per cent.

By Jim Ottewill

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