The last time that investment banks were making significant cuts to their trading teams, one hedge fund was waiting to take up the slack – Bluecrest Capital Management. Three years on, and the hedge fund is cutting the very traders it hired.
So far this year, nine traders and portfolio managers at Bluecrest have left.
Josh Farber, who was head of index trading at Deutsche Bank and joined Bluecrest in January 2015, has left. So has Amit Tanna, a portfolio manager who joined from J.P. Morgan in 2011, Daniel Escobar, a former Deutsche trader who joined Bluecrest from Arrowgrass Capital, former Barclays trader Liam Rowley and partner Jihan Bowes-Little – who is also a rap artist called Metis – is off to J.P. Morgan in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, former SAC Capital partner Mauro Pizzi has also departed and Aaron Davies, who joined Bluecrest from CIBC Markets in 2011, has joined rival hedge fund Millennium Capital Partners.
This could mean that Bluecrest has lost its appetite to hire former investment banking traders after three years of expansion. In December it announced that it would return all third-party capital to investors as it felt the pressure on fees, poor performance and rising costs.
The hedge fund is also known for its staff churn and notorious for intolerance of underperformance for even a short time. Investment banking traders who make the move to a hedge fund often struggle to adjust.
Despite this, it’s still hired five money managers so far in 2016, but these have largely been at a junior level. The exception is Panayiotis Yiasoumi, co-head of European government bonds and global rates and currencies at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, who joined Bluecrest in January.