eFC Briefing: Hedge Fund Moves

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Goldman Sachs partner will replace GLG's emerging markets chief. More funds hire high-level distressed debt traders. A report says B of A may use lowball job offers to deny Countrywide staffers severance. Lehman will award mid-year stock bonuses.

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London-based hedge fund GLG Partners tapped Goldman Sachs Partner Driss Ben-Brahim to replace Greg Coffey, its chief emerging markets manager, who will leave in October. Coffey plans to launch his own hedge fund. Reeling in a high profile manager like Ben-Brahim, who led Goldman's emerging markets trading business, gives GLG a better shot at avoiding major asset outlows when Coffey leaves. Meanwhile, Goldman has rolled-out several in-house hedge funds to hold onto its top managers.

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The flow of people and capital into the distressed debt investing sector continues to swell. Anchorage Advisors LLC, a $7 billion credit hedge fund, said it's hired Daniel Allen from Morgan Stanley, where he co-headed North American credit trading. He joins Anchorage as a partner and senior portfolio manager in August. Meanwhile, separate groups of former Citigroup senior bond traders are planning to start at least two hedge funds. Citi's distressed debt trading chiefs Jeff Jacob and John Humphrey are leaving to start an independent venture and are taking several teammates with them, MarketWatch reports. Reuters reports that Randy Barker and Geoff Coley, who co-led Citi's fixed income department until late 2007, are in "the very early stages" of starting a credit-focused fund. They are reportedly looking to hire traders and other employees.

However, Bloomberg reports SAC Capital will close the fixed-income business at Sigma Capital. The $16 billion fund will eliminate eight jobs and redistribute some of its fixed income assets to equities.

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Employees of Countrywide Financial may soon be on the receiving end of "take-it-or-leave-it" discussions on new roles as Bank of America begins to absorb the troubled mortgage company. The New York Post says B of A will begin discussing employees' new responsibilities this week, and many senior employees believe they'll be offered inferior positions with big pay cuts.

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Lehman Brothers will award mid-year stock bonuses to its 26,000 employees. The Wall Street Journal describes the award as "essentially a down payment for 2008 compensation." The move was seen as an attempt to reward employees while the company faces tough times, and to take advantage of its stock price, which is now lower than it's been since 2000.

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