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Top hedge fund steps up trader recruitment

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Sink or Swim at Millennium

Millennium Capital Partners’ UK recruitment spree, which last year involved poaching from investment banks’ disbanded prop trading desks, has restarted with a series of senior hires in recent weeks.

Millennium has re-hired Terrence Matthews, who left in April 2014 for Arrowgrass Capital Partners. Matthews has a job as a portfolio manager on its credit funds. He previously spent just over two years at the firm, having joined in November 2011 from UBS where he was an MD in credit portfolio management.

It’s also still hiring directly from investment banks. Mehmet Adil Tezgul, a director at BNP Paribas, signed up to Millennium as a portfolio manager in July, while Jose Alberto Sainz, an executive director on Nomura’s principal trading desk, was hired as portfolio manager in May.

Nomura’s prop trading business has been a happy hunting ground for Millennium, which took on a number of traders last year as part of a rapid expansion by Izzy Englander’s $31.5bn hedge fund. 69 people have joined its London office since January 2014.

Millennium has also hired Ai Chia Foo, a partner and portfolio manager and portfolio manager at Prologue Capital, Charif Tahiri, a director at Citi (and former Nomura prop trader), while James Pearce, a trader at CBRE Securities also signed up in July. Earlier in the year, recruitment at the firm was more muted.

Millennium applies a ‘sink-or-swim’ approach to traders and portfolio managers. Traders are given small amounts of capital to invest under a strict centralized risk management committee overseen by senior management. If traders are successful, these amounts increase. If they’re not, tenures can be short.

This might be why another group of traders from Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Jean-Michel Levy-Bruhl, Florian Jaloux and Selim Ben Ali, who all joined in June 2014, appear to have departed, according to filings on the Financial Conduct Authority register.

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