While investment banks have announced some new, scary job cut figures and restructuring plans, hedge funds in the UK have continued to quietly pick up the slack. Sort of. Hedge funds never hire in big numbers, but some firms have been expanding. Here’s what you need to know.
After the clearout of 2014, Brevan Howard appears to be expanding its UK operation enthusiastically. Torquil Wheatley, the former head of distribution of liquid alternatives at Citigroup who left in April, has re-emerged at Brevan Howard in an as yet undisclosed role, while Bin Ren has joined as a trader from defunct hedge fund Decura Capital.
What this means for you: Bin Ren left Barclays in 2013 for Decura, a hedge fund set up by former Goldman traders that was forced to shut down after a legal dispute with UBS. Wheatley joined Citi after a stint at hedge fund Thames River Capital and left after just two years. If career moves don’t work out, there’s always hope a good employer is just around the corner.
Charif Tahiri, a director in Citi’s prop trading division for the past three years, has been hired by Millennium Capital – the expansionary hedge fund that has been taking advantage of large banks’ retreat from prop trading after regulatory intervention.
What this means for you: There’s a lot of churn at Millennium and other hedge funds that operate a ‘sink or swim’ attitude to taking on traders. However, it shows that the hedge fund – that has slowed its hiring activity in recent months – is still recruiting.
James Malcolm, an FX strategist at Deutsche Bank, left last month and has joined hedge fund Caxton Associates. This is the third recent FX recruit from Deutsche, following Trevor Dinmore and Junaid Mohammad.
What this means for you: The fallout of from investment banks’ FX desks in recent months has been extreme – particularly in the wake of the FX rate fixing scandal – but this shows there are opportunities out there.
Marshall Wace’s foray into the quant space came through the purchase of 80 Capital in May. The hedge fund was started by Philippe Azoulay, the former head of quantitative trading at Deutsche Bank, in January last year. He joined Marshall Wace as a partner earlier this month.
What this means for you: With compliance and technology costs on the up, starting a hedge fund as a senior trader with a proven track record is risky and expensive, even if the rewards have the potential to be great. Azoulay’s has returned to the institutional bosom by joining Marshall Wace and shows that job security matters.
Tudor Investment Corp has been building its London operation for the last 12 months, and the latest hire shows that investment banks continue to provide a pipeline of good people. It’s just added Anish Popat as an analyst on its global macro fund – he was previously a European government bond analyst at Mizhuo International.
What this means for you: The all important ‘track-record’ for working in a hedge fund role and the relatively linear career path required appear not to be overly important in this instance. Popat started out as a fixed income trader at UBS before joining Mizhuo and has now made another side-ways career move on to the buy-side.
Comac Capital has hired Peter Bowden from Venn Partners as a partner and chief operating officer, showing that the demand for senior operational staff in hedge funds remains high.
What this means for you: Bowden has actually returned to Comac after just a year at Venn Partners and has succeeded in gaining a promotion. He was previously director of operations and finance. Sometimes it’s necessary to step out to take a step up.