Avi Hoddes started out in equity research at UBS in 2005 and three years later, at just 25, was credited as being one of the most accurate estimators of earnings in Europe. In 2011, he switched to sales and the following year finished second in the Extel sales awards – the prestigious annual equity gongs.
Now, like many investment banking sales and trading professionals before him, he’s joined hedge fund Millennium Management. Hoddes has a focus on the aerospace and defence sectors, with a particular expertise in small and mid-cap companies, but more recently has moved into a specialist sales role in industrials.
Hoddes apparent sales prowess should serve him well at Millennium. Working there has the potential to be lucrative for those that can cut it. Portfolio managers have a lot of autonomy; hiring their own teams and paid via a direct cut of their PnL. It has a centralised risk committee overseen by senior management, which includes its founder Izzy Englander. However, a sustained period of underperformance can result in being shown the door very quickly.
Hoddes is the latest in a number of bankers from UBS to join Millennium in recent months. Owain Self, the former head of direct execution services, is set to join the hedge fund’s U.S. operation later this year, Jaime Brandwood, a managing director in equity research signed up as an analyst in 2013, while four traders from UBS O’Connor were also lured across.
Millennium has made no secret of the fact that it’s on a hiring spree, and now employs 895 investment professionals globally - an increase of 85 on last year. In London, front office headcount has spiralled by 30% over the last 12 months.
It continues to poach from investment banks, having most recently added Tony Woods, a former executive director in Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s emerging markets trading team, as a portfolio manager earlier this month. Citi and Barclays have also been targets.
Perhaps not surprisingly for a young hot shot in investment banking, Hoddes has a first class degree in Economics from the London School of Economics.