To hedge funds - and back

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Despite posting the biggest ever gain in assets under management in the second quarter of 2006, it seems the hedge fund industry may be losing its allure when it comes to attracting staff.

Alex Henderson, business manager at recruitment firm Emerson Chase City, says most junior bankers now prefer to spend time in the corporate world before moving to a hedge fund. "Hedge fund jobs used to be a big selling point," he says. "But people now are saying they want a big name bank on their CV for two or three years at least."

Meanwhile, the Financial Times today cites the names of several traders and fund managers who have made the circuitous journey to hedge funds and back.

Take Dean Barr, global chief investment officer at Deutsche Bank, who quit to set up his own hedge fund before joining Citigroup Alternative Investing. Or Rob Gendelman, a money manager at US fund manager Neuberger Berman, who set up his own long/short hedge fund before joining fund manager Legg Mason.

Gendelman told the FT that the short term focus on performance in the hedge fund world was so overwhelming that he was unable to invest the way he wanted and that a lack of funds made it difficult to hire in good talent.

Christian Siva-Jothy, the former head of macro proprietary trading in Goldman Sachs, may be wishing someone had told him that before he quit in 2005. According to The Times, his $1.5bn SemperMacro fund has lost 10.5% so far this year.