Now that it’s become apparently clear that investment banks are still wielding the axe, despite a pick-up in recruitment in the final quarter of 2013, it’s worth looking at your career options. Some firms outside of the large investment banking firms are still keen to pick up talent from the bulge brackets. Here are five firms to consider.
1. Highbridge Principal Strategies
There’s a hiring spree at the London arm of Highbridge Capital Management, the JPMorgan-owned hedge fund that sees big opportunities in Europe, but there are still only seven people working there in front office roles. The direct investment arm, Highbridge Principal Strategies, is a bigger operation and has been tapping investment banks this year as it builds its team.
Murad Khaled, a former executive director in leveraged finance and high yield at JPMorgan, joined Highbridge in April, as did Kevin McManus, a former associate in securitisation at Citi and Laura Manthe, who previously worked at Credit Suisse. A background in real estate, leveraged finance or securitisation appears to be a selling point.
2. Prism Financial Products LLP
When Chris Rokos, one of the founder partners of hedge fund Brevan Howard, left the firm last year it was primarily to manage his own investments through a ‘family office’. However, he’s also involved with Prism Financial Products – a buy-side advisory boutique set up by former senior Deutsche Bank salesmen Paul Swadding and David Martins da Silva.
It remains a small firm, with just 12 FCA authorised employees, but has been looking to investment banks for its new hires. Robert Hardy joined as head of quantitative research from VTB Capital, while both Edward Taylor and Giuseppe D’Alessandro come from Deutsche’s fixed income team and Avani Kikani was formerly in UBS’s sales team.
3. Salix Capital
The fixed income and FX focused advisory boutique could provide some much needed refuge for beleaguered FICC professionals in investment banks. Its latest hire, Thierry Metaireau, a 25-year trading veteran, joined from Goldman Sachs in April where he was a senior futures and options broker.
Still, the firm has just nine employees, but many herald from bulge brackets including co-founder Fraser Danbury, who was previously director of fixed income hedge fund sales at Citi, and Francis Heagney, who joined from Nomura at the end of last year.
4. Bluecrest Capital Management
Bluecrest’s expansionary ambitions in the UK are no secret and it’s been hiring from both hedge fund rivals and investment banks over the past year. In recent months, this has shown no signs of abating – it’s just hired Quentin Macfarlane, who was previously in Asian equity sales at Macquarie, while George Tsimperopoulos, head of systematic technology in London, was given FCA approval in April having joined from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
5. Millennium Capital Partners
Few firms have been more aggressive at poaching investment banks’ traders than Izzy Englander’s Millennium Capital Partners, which has been on a European recruitment drive for the past 12 months. It’s just hired Jon Klaasen, who was a rates options trader at Deutsche Bank, adding to the spate of recruits from investment banks this year including Kamal Patel from JPMorgan, Chris Becker from Credit Suisse and Felipe Cruz and Mark Napp from UBS.