Tom Maheras, Citigroup's former president and the man at the heart of the firm's push into what eventually became tens of billions of dollars in toxic debt, is running a hedge fund that is up 84 percent so far this year thanks at least in part to some unusual investing.
CNBC has learned that contributing to Meharas' Tegean hedge fund's recent success is investment in Advance Micro Devices , and ironically his old firm, Citigroup. In a recent letter to clients, he calls the two investments "the top single name contributors to our results."
In about a year, the fund has grown from $75 million to about $150 million.
It's unclear exactly what type of investment Maheras has in Citigroup; the big bank's stock is still trading at severely depressed levels, closing today just under $4 a share . But the stock has recovered somewhat from its all-time low of 97 cents back in March.
Maheras, for his part, declined repeated requests for comment about his fund's performance, or his continued unusual ties to his old firm Citigroup, from which he was ousted in 2007, when losses in the firm's fixed income portfolio began piling up.
Eventually those losses led to the ousting of his boss, former Citigroup CEO Chuck Prince, and combined with other bad market bets, led to massive government bailout of the troubled bank.
Maheras, for example, has recently become a prime brokerage customer of Citigroup, meaning he keeps an account there and Citigroup can process or "clear" trades for his fund. In addition, a person close to Maheras says one of his investors is Citigroup founder Sanford I. Weill, as well as his alma mater, Notre Dame University.
Weill declined repeated requests to either confirm or deny his investment. A spokesman for Notre Dame wouldn't comment on the matter, but also wouldn't deny whether the school's endowment fund has an investment with Maheras' Tegean fund.