Balyasny Asset Management, the Chicago-based firm aiming to become the “Amazon of hedge funds”, has continued to build out its London operation and is still poaching from investment banks.
The hedge fund has increase its UK headcount by around 20% over the past year, despite most firms pulling back from the UK after Brexit, and it’s still going. Over the past few weeks, it’s hired Fiona Simpson, a VP banks analyst at Morgan Stanley in London who joined the bank in 2009. It’s also taken on Andrey Kustarev, a former Goldman Sachs quant and senior quantitative research at investment management firm WorldQuant.
Balyasny has also shown a willingness to hire from other buy-side firms – Timothy Power, who spent the past seven years working for hedge fund York Capital Management in London, joined as an equities trader in July.
Balyasny is a big player – it doubled its assets under management last year to $12.1bn and has been increasing pay and headcount in London. It paid an average of £624k in 2016 – up 23% from a mean payout of £508k a year earlier. More to the point, it’s been defying Brexit and hiring in London. Last year, its UK employee numbers increased by 86%, to 69 people, and it’s continued to hire throughout 2017, with Financial Conduct Authority registered staff going from 48 to 56 since the Brexit vote last June.
The hedge fund has been hiring from banks. Last month it brought in J.P. Morgan luxury good analyst, Xiao Lu, as an equity analyst and recruits in 2017 include Simon Mangin, a former associate in Citi’s TMT team, Daryl Lee, a former FX and rates trader from Morgan Stanley, Mukhtar Garadaghi, a Citi researcher, and Jeremy Andre, a Goldman fund derivatives trader.
Balyasny was founded in 2001 by Dmitry Balyasny. 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.