Remember Qube Research and Technologies? It's the $1bn quantitative and systematic hedge fund that spun out of Credit Suisse last year. It's hiring.
Since the start of 2018, QRT insiders say the fund has increased its headcount by 15%, or 20 people. By the end of this year, it plans to add another 20, split equally between its offices in London, Paris and Hong Kong.
"We're in a period of growth," says one senior QRT insider, speaking on an anonymous basis. "We are raising money as an independent asset manager and are very much in recruitment mode. We are heavily focused on hiring for our research and technology teams."
Most of QRT's current 150 employees previously worked for the fund when it was still known as 'Credit Suisse quantitative and systematic asset management.' Many worked for SocGen before that. Some of the newer hires, however, have been drawn from further afield. Last month, for example, QRT hired Iain Raskin from UBS as a quant trading director in Hong Kong. In April, it hired Javier Escribano as COO in the London office. In October 2017 it hired Marco Dion, formerly head of central risk book trading at J.P. Morgan.
While quant funds like Winton have a reputation for hiring quantum physicists and applying their expertise to financial markets, QRT insiders say the fund is more about hiring excellent technologists and researchers with a finance background. "We're recruiting traders as well, but they're less important than previously," says one senior insider. "In future, we expect to have fewer traders and more technologists and researchers."
QRT isn't alone in looking for systematic trading talent. As we've pointed out, Goldman Sachs is also hiring for its quant execution team under Michael Steliaros, and J.P. Morgan just hired a trader who left Nomura in 2016 to handle systematic equities trading for its central risk book.
This might be why the flow of staff at QRT goes two ways. Christophe Farès Wakim, a former quantitative equity portfolio manager at QRT, left in May and is now on gardening leave. Insiders say there have also been other exits, albeit many of them last year, before QRT span out. Some, like Benajimin Filippi and Ryan Sandor have recently turned up at ExodusPointCapital, the $7bn hedge fund set up by Michael Gelband, the former star trader at Izzy Englander's Millennium Capital - which is also hiring.
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