By Christine Harper

April 7 (Bloomberg) — Ali Hedayat, co-head in the Americas of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s largest internal hedge fund, has left the firm, the second senior departure from the unit in less than a month, said three people familiar with the matter.

Hedayat’s departure follows last month’s exit by Pierre Henri Flamand, who ran the Goldman Sachs Principal Strategies division from London. Ed Canaday, a spokesman for Goldman Sachs in New York, declined to comment. Hedayat, 35, who was promoted to managing director in October 2006, also declined to comment.

Goldman Sachs, the most profitable securities firm in Wall Street history, generates about 10 percent of its revenue from proprietary trading, or bets with the firm’s own money, Chief Financial Officer David Viniar has said. Goldman Sachs Principal Strategies, a unit within the firm’s equities division, rebounded from losses in 2008 to fuel the firm’s 7 percent gain in equity revenue to $9.89 billion in 2009, according to the company’s earnings report in January.

Principal strategies seeks to profit from discrepancies in relative values of financial instruments, convertible bonds and “various types of volatility trading,” according to the report. In early 2008, a group of traders from principal strategies led by Raanan Agus and Kenneth Ebert created a $7 billion hedge fund called Goldman Sachs Investment Partners and became part of Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

Flamand is setting up his own hedge fund and a Goldman Sachs executive in London said last month that the firm supports Flamand’s plan.

Hedayat, who graduated from McGill University in Montreal in 1996 with a double major in finance and economics, started at Goldman Sachs in 1997 as a financial analyst covering Latin American markets. He joined the principal strategies group in 2000 and moved to the London office in 2002, before returning to New York in 2007.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christine Harper in New York at

Last Updated: April 7, 2010 18:03 EDT