Most European banks have yet to pay their bonuses. This isn't stopping hedge funds picking off their staff.
The UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Register shows that hedge funds Eisler Capital and Citadel LLC were among those making significant hires from banks in the opening months of the year.
Sylvain Bertrand, a Columbia University educated exotic rates trader who previously worked for Barclays in New York, joined macro-focused Eisler Capital in London last month. Bertrand's arrival seems to have gone unnoticed, despite being a coup for Eisler. He spent six and a half years at Barclays in a career which began with three years at Murex.
Eisler Capital, which only employs 14 FCA Registered employees in London, appears to be in growth mode: it also recruited Martin Priego Wood from Credit Suisse in January, along with Baptiste Carlier, a senior algorithmic trader from Credit Agricole. Founded by former Goldman Sachs partner turned philanthropist Edward Eisler in late 2015, Eisler Capital has a reputation for paying well: the average employee earned nearly £500k ($700k) in 2016, the last year for which figures are available.
While Eisler has been hiring from banks, Citadel Europe made a significant hire from UBS's asset management business. André Leue, a senior equity analyst and portfolio manager, in the healthcare sector, joined the fund in February according to the FCA Register. Leue spent eight years at UBS in London and a previous 11 years as an analyst and fund manager in Germany.
Like Eisler, Citadel appears to be growing - albeit in equities analysis rather than macro and systematic trading. In January, it hired Francesco Di Giambattista, an equity research analyst who covered Italian banks at UBS in London, and Denis Kopanev, an associate on its equity long short team who previously worked in infrastructure private equity for the CPP Investment Board, and in IBD at Morgan Stanley in London.
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