The biggest hedge fund in the world, Bridgewater Associates, has just quietly shelved its recruitment plans, and a collective return of 1.6% for the year to June doesn’t exactly scream to an industry in good health.
Yet, within the plush offices of London’s Mayfair, large hedge funds have been hiring. And, despite the supposed chronic shortage of talent coming out of the investment banks, the sell-side has often been the target.
The usual disclaimer that hedge funds are always incredibly picky with who they take on applies, but with banks considering their options with trading floors across the City in the wake of the Brexit vote, these firms could offer opportunities.
Capula has a particular propensity to hire senior traders from investment banks, and has a reputation for paying well. It has just 50 FCA-registered employees, but six have arrived in 2016.
Within the last month, Jim Zhang, a former portfolio manager at Citadel Investment Group – and ex-interest rates derivatives trader at UBS – joined as a portfolio manager. Meanwhile, Christian Schels, most recently a European government bond trader at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, signed up as a fixed income trader at Capula.
Chenavari has already signalled its intention to build its team to take advantage of distressed debt opportunities, and brought in a number of senior staff including Guilham Goyard, who re-joined the firm as head of business development in April.
This month, Cyril Themar-Noel, a partner and portfolio manager at Lucidus Capital and former Caxton Associates employee, has signed up as a partner.
BNP Paribas’ prop trading subsidiary, Opera Trading Capital, is understandably a more attractive option for hedge funds than investment banks’ regular trading floors. Hedge funds traditionally hired prop traders, but these jobs have dried up thanks to a regulatory crack-down after the 2008 financial crisis.
Antoine Chabanne, a portfolio manager at Opera, and former trader at BNP’s proprietary strategies trading group, has just joined Millennium Capital as a portfolio manager in its long-short equity division.
Neshma Shah, a former interest rates trader at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, has joined Caxton Associates as a trader on its global macro fund. Meanwhile, Kaifeng Chen left Goldman Sachs, where he was a rates algo and quants strat, to join the hedge fund as a quantitative researcher.
Outside of the recruits from investment banks, Riccardo Ronco, who was head of technical analysis at Aviate Global, has joined Caxton as a senior technical analyst.
Tudor has been tapping up the sell-side for equity research hires. Not only has it poached Tomas Kiskis, a high-achieving analyst from Sanford Berstein, but Joseph Bradley, a chemicals equity analyst at Credit Suisse, has just joined as an equity trading analyst.
Tudor has traditionally focused on macro strategies, but appears to be building its equity capabilities currently.
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