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Credit Suisse: the bank more alluring to traders than high-paying hedge funds

Carrot on stick

Brevan Howard has traditionally been viewed as a high-performing hedge fund that only employs elite candidates. Traders have escaped the production line of investment banking for the potential riches on offer in hedge funds. Credit Suisse, however, has become adept at attracting ex-employees back.

Julien Eisenberger, a rates trader who left Credit Suisse in March 2012 to become a portfolio manager at Brevan Howard, has just re-joined the bank in a similar position, according to sources close to the situation.

This is the second such appointment in a month – as we revealed in December, Neilan Govender, an ex-currency trader at Credit Suisse who left to become senior portfolio manager at Brevan Howard, returned to the Swiss bank’s FX trading team after just eight months away.

Eisenberger was a long-time employee of Credit Suisse, having worked at the bank from 2001 before departing for Brevan Howard in early 2012. The hedge fund has been shrinking over the past year – it now has 80 front office employees in the UK, compared to 94 at the same point in 2013. Much of this is down to the fact that it’s been relocating traders from London to Geneva, but senior portfolio managers have also been laid off following a period of underperformance.

It also closed its Brevan Howard Investment Fund II Macro FX Fund earlier this year, which may explain the decision of both Govender and Eisenberger to look for new opportunities. However, in December Brevan Howard hired Vincent Craignou, former head of foreign exchange and metal derivatives at HSBC, as a senior trader. It has no plans to re-launch a specialist currencies fund, though.

Credit Suisse, meanwhile, has already outlined plans to shrink its rates trading business and announced 100 job cuts across its fixed income business in September. The bank merged its FX, rates and commodities team, creating a new Global Macro Products division led by David Tait, head of global foreign exchange and short term interest rate trading in London and Jon Kinol, its New York-based head of rates.

Credit Suisse did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Some Credit Suisse employees who have made the transition into hedge funds, even those who joined the wrong firms, have carved out a successful career. Massimo Amati, a former fixed income trader at Credit Suisse, was hired by Millennium Partners in 2011 and then joined SAC Capital’s now-closed London office in December 2012. He’s just been hired by Balyasny Asset Management, along with Stanislas de Caumont, former head of government bonds, inflation and repo for Europe at Credit Suisse, who left the bank to become a partner at SAC in 2011.

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