If you want a job in a hedge fund, Millennium Capital Partners has been the fund to go for. The London-based iteration of Millennium Management, the New York-based fund with $23bn under management, has hired consistently in the past few years. In 2014 alone, it's increased its London-based headcount of FCA Registered employees by a massive 37% - hiring (among others) ex-equity researchers from UBS.
However, there's a shadowy underside to Millennium's gleaming recruitment record. As with other hedge funds, it also likes to fire people. The deal at Millennium is that you perform. If you don't perform, you're out.
The latest employee to fall foul of this rule is Chris Dale, one of Millennium's longest serving employees. The Financial Times reported last week that Dale had left the fund after eight years because his $1bn+ fund lost '5% in a short period.' Dale's exit came despite a track record of performance in previous years and despite his long tenure and apparent seniority.
We've written about Millennium's 'sink or swim' policy in the past. The FT points out that the fund gives traders who join a small 'slug of capital to invest', which is gradually increased if they make money, but scaled back or removed entirely if they lose money.
While this makes hedge funds like Millennium meritocratic places to work, it also makes them a little risky if you're a trader leaving the comparative security of a bank. The good news is that Millennium seems to be hiring faster than its firing. So far this year, the FCA Register shows that only eight people have left - compared to the 34 arrivals - and that three of the departed have found jobs elsewhere in London.
Last year's exits from Millennium fared less well, however. According to the FCA Register, 25 people left Millennium Capital Partners in 2013 and only eight found jobs elsewhere in London. If you're not absolutely convinced of your ability to succeed, a job at Millennium may lead to a career dead end.
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Proof that trading jobs in investment banks are a fast track to financial mediocrity?