Hedge funds may not have grown much overall this year, with assets under management declining by $11.5 billion in October, but some firms are still attracting healthy inflows from investors. And that means they’re hiring.
Quantitative funds, which have struggled to perform in so-called “RoRo” (risk on, risk off) markets this year, have still attracted assets and appear to be increasing headcount. New launches of quant funds have reached a record high in 2012, according to data from Preqin.
We’ve looked at eight funds that have seen double-digit growth in assets under management, based on figures from The Hedge Fund Journal, Hedge Fund Intelligence, Preqin and the companies themselves and assessed whether they’re hiring. Unless otherwise stated, these figures are for the first half of 2012 ended June 30. The vacancies cited are based on those listed on the companies’ websites.
1. Bluecrest Capital Management:
Year-on-year AUM increase: 16% to $31.1bn (as at 1July 2012)
London’s Bluecrest only filed its 2011 accounts in October, and they show that the firm ended the year with fewer employees than it started – 181, compared to 200 at the end of 2010. They earned an average of £149.5k ($240k), according to accounts from Companies House, the UK corporate registrar office. This year, however, the number of employees registered with the UK’s Financial Services Authority has increased by 28 and six of those started in November. Ashish Goyal, a former J.P. Morgan foreign exchange trader who is blind and uses screen-reading software to discern charts and presentations, is the latest recruit, joining the firm on 16 November.
2. Winton Capital Management:
Year-on-year AUM increase: 27% to $28.5bn
Winton is a computer-driven hedge fund manager based in the UK and, although it’s hiring, much of its recruitment is focused scientists and programmers. It currently has 22 vacancies – primarily in its London and Oxford offices – and is hiring computer science graduates as well as senior scientists to devise quantitative strategies.
It released its annual report for 2011 in October this year, and profits increased by 23% to $260m, on the back of a 65% surge in AUM, which now stands at $28.5bn. Over the same period, headcount increased from 195 to 218, with pay averaging £360k ($580k). Of these people, 97 were scientific researchers – predominantly math and physics PhDs who work with programmers to develop trading algorithms.
Winton Capital Management has just 44 FSA approved persons, perhaps because 90 percent of its trades are executed automatically by algorithms, but eight of these joined in 2012. Matei Oprea joined as a trader from RBC Capital Markets in May, Robert Aitken joined in its compliance division and Joss Anstey moved from SocGen in July.
3. Capula Global
Year-on-year AUM increase: 36.8% to $13bn
London-based Capula specialises in global fixed income and was set up by former J.P. Morgan prop trader Yan Huo in 2005. It developed several new funds this year – notably a $500m special opportunities fund to bet against Spanish banks and a distressed debt fund and has been hiring. Recent recruits include Stephen Heanley, a former managing director at Angel Gordon & Co, as a portfolio manager, Ivan Chalbaud, a former rates trader at UBS and David Dymov from Barclays. So far this year, the fund has added 17 people to its list of FSA registered employees. It’s also expanding in Hong Kong.
Year-on-year AUM increase: 12% to $11.8bn
If the increase in CQS’s AUM seems comparatively modest, it’s because it comes on the back of a period when assets nearly doubled in the 18 months to 30 December 2011. The London-based firm’s flagship fund has returned 27.3% through September, according to a recent report in The Wall Street Journal.
Recently, it added former SAC Capital Advisors trader David Morant to its long/short equities team. SAC also lost Emma Dodson and Benjamin Halfacre to CQS. Other recent hires include Elliot Morley, a former director at SocGen who joined the structuring team, and Daniel Woodbridge from BTG Pactual. In total, CQS has added 10 people to the FSA Register this year.
5. Aspect Capital
Year-on-year AUM increase: 36% to $6.8bn
As you would expect from a company founded by Martin Luek and Michael Adam, who played a key role in the development of Man Group’s AHL trading program, the focus of London-based Aspect Capital’s recruitment is largely on research and technology. Headcount increased from 120 to 137 last year, according to accounts filed at Companies House in October, predominantly for programmers and researchers with a background in math or physics. Two-thirds of its employees work in this area.
So far this year, the managed futures-focused hedge fund has added just three people to the FSA Register – Kelly Kirklin, formerly a partner at VOC Capital Partners, Sean Richardson and Anthony Murray, a former director at HSBC Alternative Investments. The firm has said previously, however, that it’s constantly on the prowl for researchers with good technology skills.
6. Cantab Capital Partners
Year-on-year increase in AUM: 59% to $4.3bn (as at 1 October 2012)
Cantab Capital Partners increased its assets under management by nearly $2.7bn over the 12 months to October. The firm is heavily reliant on computer models, which means that around two-thirds of employees work in its research division and usually come armed with mathematical PhDs from Cambridge University, the town in which Cantab is based.
Erich Schlaikjer, chief technology officer at the firm previously said that the firm tends to recruit four to five people a year into its 40-strong team, most of them with hard science degrees, like physics or mathematics. It typically receives 600 CVs a year, interviews 200 people and hires just a handful.
7. D.E. Shaw
Year-on-year AUM increase: 28.5% to $27bn
D.E. Shaw posted the biggest increase in AUM of all US firms among the top 20 of Absolute Return magazine’s list of the world’s largest hedge funds. This is a marked turnaround from two years ago, when AUM plunged by $7bn and the firm cut 10% of its staff, or 150 people. Although the firm doesn’t reveal performance figures, two of its managing directors told Reuters Global Investment 2012 Outlook Summit that it had been “a really good year. We're having very good performance.” Not surprisingly, it’s hiring again.
The New York-based hedge fund is known for its computer-driven models, although just half of its AUM are allocated to these strategies, and it’s no surprise to see that much of the current recruitment is focused on technical roles. It current has 32 vacancies, predominantly in the US. Eight are for technology development and six for quantitative strategists. It also wants to hire three traders.
8. Bridgewater Associates
Year-on-year increase in AUM: 9.8% to $77.2bn (1 July 2012)
Bridgewater celebrated its new record in hedge fund assets under management, according to the Absolute Return rankings, by announcing plans to establish a lavish $750m office, replete with helipad and floating recreational barge, to house its 1,225 employees. Even better, from a recruitment point of view, it has pledged to create up to “1,000 high-level jobs” over the next ten years, as well as retain its current crop of employees. At least that’s according to the state of Connecticut.
Currently, it has around 45 jobs available, and these appear to be predominantly focused on technology. In order to land a job, you must be an independent thinker “willing to put aside their egos to find out what is true”, according to Ray Dalio, the firm’s founder and president.
You’ll also need a propensity to excel in the firm’s notorious staff events, according employee profiles on the firm’s website. These outings range from Halloween parties, to Mardi Gras and, according to ‘Paul’ a portfolio strategist, client service, involve “great dancing, great music, plenty of drink.” Some, such as the ‘Scrum’ – a race around and through the lake and river surrounding the firm’s office - are also used as a recruitment tool. ‘Kerry’, an investment associate, research, said that: “Two people that were here interviewing for jobs that day ran in it (only one was hired).”