The past three months have seen a raft of new firms gain authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority in London, with hedge funds, private equity firms and boutique investment banks among them. Not all will be hiring, but it’s worth noting that the brass plaque has been polished and they’re open for business – luckily, they’ve been diligently tracked by corporate finance firm IMAS, so here’s our pick of the bunch.
Set up by JPMorgan’s head of equity finance and treasury, Andrea Angelone, late last year, Amagis Capital is now officially up and running. The hedge fund plans on investing in companies pursuing acquisitions, share buybacks and other transactions. Angleone has already brought on board former JPMorgan equity derivatives traders, Amit Jain and Simone Russo, as well as private equity veteran Guido Miani.
2. Arabesque Asset Management
Led by former executives within Barclays’ Middle East operation, Arabesque aims to produce a curious mix of Islamic and socially responsible investment principles. Omar Selim, who was previously head of global markets for institutional clients at Barclays’ EMEA operations, and Andreas Fornier, who headed up the bank’s distribution network in Saudi Arabia, lead Arabesque. It’s also attracted Alexander Kuppler, former director of ETF sales at Deutsche Bank, as head of trading.
3. China Merchant Securities
CMS is China’s third largest securities firm and, having secured FCA authorisation, will embark on a hiring spree that will see 40 new people recruited as it targets its ambition of becoming a ‘comprehensive investment bank’ in London. So far, however, it has just few employees including Liudmila Shitova and Michael Butler, who looks after compliance.
InFrontier is a private equity firm that says it has the express aim of seeking out investment opportunities in “post-conflict countries”. Currently, it’s looking at small and medium sized companies in Afghanistan in “high growth” areas like mining, healthcare and financial services and will soon be expanding to other countries. It’s led by Farhad Timuri, an British-Afghan private equity investor who aims to promote entrepreneurship in the country, as well as former diplomat Benj Conway.
As we’ve mentioned previously, the establishment of Symmetry Investments – a spin off from hedge fund Millennium Management – is one of the most hotly anticipated launches of 2014 so far. It’s started up in both London and Hong Kong and has only just gained its stripes in the UK. So far, aside from hiring Barclays’ Sarah Hodges as head of fixed income financing and Jackie Jordan as chief compliance officer from Clive Capital, most of the London employees have been seconded across from Millennium. However, given its tendency to hire from banks and rival funds alike, expect more recruits to follow.
6. Zen Assets
Sergey Sosnov spent nearly six years at Goldman Sachs, but has just swapped the City for the Silicon Roundabout in London for his new venture Zen Assets. So far, he’s the only listed employee, but the aim of the company is to “build and manage professional investment portfolios for private clients at a fraction of the cost charged by banks”. Private banks, you have some new competition…