Chicago-based Balyasny Asset Management is one U.S. hedge fund to be doing big hiring in London despite the looming spectre of Brexit and now we know why - revenues increased at its UK operation by 117% over the course of 2016.
Balyasny nearly doubled headcount and hiked average pay for its employees by 23% in its London operation last year, according to its 2016 accounts that were just released on Companies House. Revenues increased from £28.9m in 2015 to £62.9m last year.
As we've pointed out before, Balyasny has been hiring - headcount has increased by 19% in its UK operation since the result to the EU referendum was announced. However, the newly released accounts reveal that hiring preceded Brexit. - Throughout 2016, Balyasny increased its employee numbers by 86%. At the end of last year, it had 69 people - up from 37 staff 12 months earlier. What's more, Balyasny is paying them more. It spent £43.1m on compensation in 2016, or an average of £624k - up 23% from a mean payout of £508k a year earlier.
Balyasny was founded in 2001 by Dmitry Balyasny. It doubled its assets under management last year to around $12.1bn, which has spurred some big hiring globally. Balyasny said in its first quarter letter in April that it was taking an 'Amazon' approach in its build out of staff, hiring portfolio managers and analysts across a diverse range of strategies to ensure that it's not over-exposed to any one investment trend.
Some significant hires last year came from large investment banks. George Cole, a former economist at Goldman Sachs joined as a portfolio manager in May last year as was Yau Chung Ng, who came from Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Adam White, an FX structure at Morgan Stanley, joined as a macro analyst in August, while SocGen equity trader Francois Lamy was hired as a trader in June 2016.
More recently, Balyasny's recruitment has also focused on the sell-side. Simon Mangin, was an associate in Citi's TMT investment banking team, and joined in May, as did Daryl Lee, a former FX and rates trader at Morgan Stanley. Earlier in the year it brought in Robert Banham, an equities trader from rival hedge fund Marshall Wace, Mukhtar Garadaghi, an equity researcher, also from Citi and Jeremy Andre, a Goldman fund derivatives trader in February.
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