About 90 percent of North Korea’s trade is with China, and Chinese junket operators are well equipped to use the formal banking sector and informal financial networks created by the Chinese traders and small businessmen who’ve crisscrossed the world for 1,000 years, says Andrew Klebanow, a senior partner at Global Market Advisors LLC in Las Vegas. “These networks evolved and continue to this day, allowing money to move into and out of China,” he says. Often money doesn’t even need to cross borders, Klebanow says. As with other informal networks, a deposit in the Philippines might be credited to an account in Macau or China, even though the money stays in Manila.
Novogratz’s fund will have a broader mandate, including market-making, arbitrage, stakes in internet coin offerings and venture capital-style investments in digital-asset development, said the person familiar with his plans, who asked not to be named because they’re still private. He also brought on as partners two traders with years of experience in hedge fund investing and compliance: Richard Tavoso, the former head of global arbitrage at RBC Capital Markets; and David Namdar, who worked at Millennium Partners, Marto Capital and UBS AG, the person said.