Earlier this year, leaving an equity research job on the sellside for an equity research job in a hedge fund was a thing. As we noted in March, plenty of equity researchers were doing it: Didier Scemema left Bank of America for Odey Asset Management, Alastair Johnson left Citigroup for Majedie Asset Management, Adrian Cattley left Citigroup for Capeview Capital.
Money was reportedly part of their motivation - equity researchers in banks were working 12-hour days for £150k ($247k) and were a fed up with it. Hedge fund jobs were thought to be more lucrative.
Lately, however, hedge funds are not so hot. Hedge fund pay has collapsed. Some hedge fund bonuses have been reduced by 94% since 2012. In this context, it's curious that a top equity researcher appeared briefly at a hedge fund known for its predilection for hiring ex-sellside professionals. And then left again, almost immediately.
The researcher in question is Tim Marshall, the specialist transportation and airlines researcher who joined Invesco Perpetual as a senior analyst on the UK equities team in August 2014.
Prior to working for Invesco, Marshall spent nearly five years working for Redburn Partners, the independent equities broker, after leaving UBS in 2009.
However, Marshall's FCA record reveals a micro-stint at Millennium Capital Partners between 6 May and 3 August 2014. What happened?
We don't know. Neither Marshall nor Millennium were immediately able to comment for this article. It's possible that Marshall didn't actually join Millennium - Invesco announced his appointment on 3 July 2014, suggesting that he may have only been at Millennium a few weeks, if at all.
What is known, however, is that Millennium can be a ruthless place to work. While equity researchers and traders from banks may think hedge funds are alluring employers before they join, the reality can be disturbing. "Hedge funds have had a difficult few quarters and are very demanding when it comes to quality, quantity and timing," says Oliver Rolfe, managing director at search firm Spartan Partnership. In the context of falling pay across the hedge fund industry, it's not difficult to see why equity researchers may decide to give hedge funds a miss for the remainder of 2014. Marshall may have had his own reasons for leaving Millennium for Invesco Perpetual, but he's unlikely to be the last equity researcher to decide hedge fund jobs aren't all that they seem.