Macro hedge fund Caxton Associates might be hiring on the back of a stellar year where its London partners earned an average of £3.7m, but senior staff are still departing.
Jean-Luc Alexandre, the former head of emerging markets prop trading at BNP Paribas who joined Caxton Associates as a portfolio manager on its emerging markets and macro desk, is said to have left in August. Philippe Fourcade, who was also a prop trader on BNP’s EM desk and joined Caxton with Alexandre when the bank shuttered its prop trading business in 2014, has left as well.
Meanwhile, Michel Kikano, an associate partner and commodities portfolio manager at the firm who has worked there for the past seven years, departed in August. Kikano joined from Brevan Howard Asset Management in 2010, and has also worked at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
The exits follow Greg Knight, the former head of leveraged FX finance at Deutsche Bank who joined Caxton in 2012. He left in June and has yet to turn up elsewhere. Josh Berkowitz, another star trader at Caxton who joined in 2014, also departed earlier this year.
Caxton has stood out as one of the few macro hedge funds continuing to hire in London as its competitors cut back. In March, it took on James ter Haar and GJ Prasad, both portfolio managers at Millennium Capital Management and has taken on nine people so far this year. It made £97.7m in profits for its London operation – up a massive 504% on the previous year.
Both Alexandre and Fourcade’s departure may have less to do with Caxton retrenching and more due to the hotness of their expertise. Investment banks have been building their emerging markets teams this year, and have been poaching from both their peers and from hedge funds.
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