In hedge fund terms, AQR Capital Management is a giant. It has 800 or so employees globally, $185bn in assets under management, and earned profits of $530m last year – more than the world’s biggest publicly-traded hedge fund Man Group.
By comparison, the London operation of the hedge fund run by billionaire Cliff Asness, is a tiny speck. It made £4.7m ($6.2m) on revenues of £20.4m ($27m) in the year ending December 2016, according to new accounts released on Companies House this week, up from £3.4m ($4.5m) in 2015.
AQR also employs a mere 19 staff in London. There are some clear benefits, however – the office is growing and the pay is big.
Headcount increased by 72% last year, even if this just equates to adding eight people, and AQR has continued to hire in 2017. It now has 23 people listed with the Financial Conduct Authority, up from 18 at the beginning of this year. Recent new hires include Elliott Coleman, who moved from BlackRock’s iShares team into a business development role in May, and Caroline Pillot, a former managing director at hedge fund Permal Group who moved into a senior sales role in August.
Unlike the CEOs of other large quant hedge funds, Asness may have missed out on the top 10 richest hedge fund managers this year, but AQR appears very generous to its London staff. On a per head basis, it shelled out £657.8k ($873.4k) to its 19 employees this year. This is, however, down on the £730k ($933.5k) average payment last year.
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