Jes Staley, the man once pitched to replace Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan, has quit the bank he’s worked at for the past 34 years and joined BlueMountain Capital Management, where he’ll be the hedge fund’s ninth managing partner. As has been pointed out, BlueMountain is one of the firms that benefited from Bruno Iksil’s failed ‘whale trade’ last summer.
As hedge funds go, BlueMountain is something of a veteran. It has $12bn in assets under management and was founded nine years ago by Andrew Feldstein and Stephen Siderow. Feldstein is another ex-JPMorgan banker, while Siderow is an ex-management consultant from the financial institutions group at McKinsey. Staley is undoubtedly familiar with Feldstein from his time at JPM, where Fedstein hopped between a selection of senior roles, including head of structured credit, head of high yield sales, trading and research, and head of global credit portfolio.
BlueMountain’s other partners include: two former VPs at Goldman Sachs, one in structured credit and one in investment grade derivatives trading, an ex-MD of global credit trading at Deutsche Bank, a former MD and head of interest rate strategies at Goldman, and what looks very much like an ex-CIO trader at JPMorgan.
The fund has offices in New York and London. Its last filed accounts for the London office, covering the year ending December 31, 2011, show that it employed 19 people in London in 2011 and paid them an average of £346k each. BlueMountain’s London partners received an additional £4.2m to be divided among them. In his last year at JPMorgan, Staley earned $17.6m.
In London, BlueMountain has also been hiring – slowly. UK’s Financial Services Authority records show that it added five people in 2012: Amin Galvez – a middle office trade support specialist from BlueCrest, Christophe Pannelay, a portfolio manager from Credit Agricole CIB, Charles Wilson – also a portfolio manager from Credit Agricole CIB, Sebastian Roul – an ex-equity derivatives trader from JPMorgan, and Rahul Verma, who was unregistered in London previously.
If you’re thinking of joining BlueMountain in New York, note that it seems keen on ivy leaguers. Feldstein and Siderow met at Harvard according to BlueMountain’s profile on LinkedIn and the fund’s New York office contains an assortment of Columbia, Yale and Princeton graduates. Staley didn’t go to Harvard and graduated from Bowdoin (not that this appears to have been a problem). It’s also worth bearing in mind that if you aspire to join at partner level, you may have to stump up a lot of your own cash. In order to become a partner, Staley is said to have purchased an undisclosed stake in the firm.