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Expansionary hedge fund pinches ex-BAML trader en route to Deutsche Bank

Cross Ocean hedge fund hiring

Hedge fund hiring is alive and well. Just ask Cross Ocean Partners, a U.S. credit hedge fund which is busily building its London presence, and diverting traders hopping between banks into its West London office.

Cross Ocean’s latest hire is Gary Erskine, a former director in global loans and special situations at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Headhunters say Erskine quit BAML several months ago and was on gardening leave prior to joining Deutsche Bank. However, he was reportedly persuaded to join Cross Ocean last month just days before his new Deutsche job was due to start.

Deutsche Bank declined to comment and Erskine didn’t respond to our attempt to get in touch.

While some hedge funds now like to hire exclusively from other hedge funds, Cross Ocean’s London office likes to hire from banks.

The fund is run in London by co-CIO Stephen Zander, a former head of the distressed trading business at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Zander left BAML in 2009 and has since worked for hedge funds, including Capula and Hayfin Capital Management. He joined Cross Ocean in February 2017 after 18 months when he was registered at regulatory hosting firm Mirabella Advisors, and has since been hiring in former traders from banks into his new team.

Alongside Erskine, Zander’s other hires include Stephen Pile, a former senior RBS credit trader who joined in June, and Ross van Beurden, a former AVP in credit trading at Citi, who joined in October.

In 2016, Cross Ocean Limited nearly doubled headcount from 11 to 21 people.

What turned Erskine to Cross Ocean instead of Deutsche Bank?

Deutsche’s problems are well-documented, but Cross Ocean isn’t exactly a safe bet either. Last year, Cross Ocean Limited, which includes support staff, made a loss of £4m on £7m of revenues (compared to a loss of £2m on £3.4m of revenues one year previously). The fund does, however, appear to pay OK: its 21 employees received an average of £260k last year ($340k), while four partners at Cross Ocean LLP each received an average of £558k.  Deutsche Bank, by comparison, has gained a reputation for parsimony after cancelling bonuses for 2016.  

In June, Deutsche Bank was said to make a last minute withdrawal of its job offer to Rob Allard, who was due to join as head of U.S. fixed income sales.

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Photo credit: Swerve to avoid gunshots ahead by Eric Bjerke is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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