Portfolio managers are leaving Citadel; one only stayed a month

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Citadel portfolio managers

The hedge fund merry go round is getting faster, courtesy of Exoduspoint.

People seem to be dribbling out of the London office of Citadel Europe LLP - the European outpost of Ken Griffin's $30bn hedge fund. One quit after less than a month.

Antonio Fortes was at Citadel from the 14th of July to the 7th of August according to the UK's Financial Conduct Authority register. It's not clear why he left so soon, but Fortes - who previously spent three years at hedge fund Millennium Capital Partners, has now joined Exoduspoint, the new fund led by former Millennium Management star trader Michael Gelband.

Fortes isn't Citadel's only recent case of flight. Citadel has also lost Diego Megia, a senior portfolio manager who spent less than two years at the fund after joining from Barclays. Megia is understood to be joining Millennium.

It increasingly looks like Exoduspoint has been the catalyst for ongoing job moves in the global hedge fund market. Since setting up in London in February 2018, Exoduspoint has hired at least 27 people, both from banks and other hedge funds.  Alongside Fortes, recent recruits include Rory Hill from Man GLG and Benjamin Grigeur - also from Citadel. More than anything, though, Gelband's fund has been hiring his former colleagues from Millennium, with at least 17 thought to have joined globally. In turn, this has led to gaps at Millennium - which has been hiring from the likes of Citadel (for example, ex-Citadel portfolio manager Uberto Palomba is off to Millennium in the new year).

Citadel did not respond to a request to comment for this article. There are unconfirmed reports in the market that Exoduspoint is offering lavish packages to its new hires. If rival funds want to keep their people, they may need to respond in kind. Will 2019 see a bidding war for top portfolio managers as funds try filling the gaps left by Gelband's fund?

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