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Strauss-Kahn hedge fund aims to raise $2 billion

A macro hedge fund launched by LSK & Partners, the firm chaired by controversial ex-International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, is aiming to raise $2 billion.

The 64-year-old fell from grace when he was forced to resign from the IMF in 2011, after being embroiled in a series of sex scandal allegations relating to sexual assaults.

In 2011, a New York hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo, accused Strauss-Kahn of sexually assaulting her but charges were dropped after her credibility was questioned. In the same year, journalist Tristane Banon accused the former IMF head of raping her, but prosecutors dropped all charges again.

Strauss-Kahn could now face trial on "aggravated pimping" charges relating to an alleged prostitution ring at the Carlton hotel in Lille. He admitted his involvement in the sex parties but denied that he knew any of the women were prostitutes.

But last year, DSK - as he is commonly known – teamed up with a member of the French society of financial analysts Thierry Leyne, to form LSK & Partners, an investment banking firm based in Luxembourg.

(Read more: China-focused hedge funds buck market doldrums)

Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Nicholas Kamm | AFP | Getty Images
Dominique Strauss-Kahn

Strauss-Kahn's latest venture, called the DSK Global Invest fund, will see him manage the fund with his daughter Vanessa Strauss-Kahn, an economics professor who will be head of the research unit.

The pair, along with LSK & Partners' chief operating officer Mohamad Zeidan, are currently on a trip to China in an effort to drum up investment from institutional investors and wealthy individuals.

"We all have extensive experience in the European and Anglo-Saxon markets. We thought it would be a good idea to get a better feel for what is happening in the emerging markets today," Zeidan told CNBC in a phone interview from Shanghai on Thursday.

"We are starting in China because we're convinced that China is a major player in the global market today, and its market has become sophisticated enough to understand and require investment vehicles such as the one we are proposing."

Zeidan added that the company was also going to visit the Middle East, Latin America and North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and the Russian Federation.

The fund is awaiting regulatory approval from the Luxembourg authorities before it can start raising money.

(Read more: China's sovereign wealth fund is bullish on this sector)

Despite it being early days for the fund, Zeidan said he was encouraged about the support from investors, and called the $2 billion target a "launch objective."

"Having taken our partners on a roadshow, and having gotten very detailed feedback from perspective clients, the figure is what I consider to be a launch objective. So the market reaction has been very enthusiastic," he told CNBC.

China has been an attractive place for hedge funds to seek capital due to the explosion of high net worth individuals there. The world's second-largest economy has 643,000 millionaires, according to Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management.

Last year, former Goldman Sachs trader Andrew Wang was preparing to launch an Asia hedge fund looking at buying Chinese and Japanese shares.

The Eurekahedge Asia Macro Hedge Fund Index, which tracks the performance of hedge fund managers who invest solely in Asia, returned 9 percent last year, posting the largest annual gain in four years. This shows the appetite of investors in the region.

A macro hedge fund strategy focuses on major economic and political trends and invests on the basis of these. A macro hedge fund may bet on a variety of assets including stocks, bonds and commodities.

—By CNBC's Arjun Kharpal. Follow him on Twitter @ArjunKharpal

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