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BlueCrest said to be hiring bank prop traders for a new equities fund

BlueCrest, Europe's most profitable hedge fund in 2012, is setting up a new equities fund according to people close to the matter. It also appears to be hiring.

BlueCrest declined to comment. Last week  Bloomberg reported that BlueCrest may have hired Jonathan Larkin and Christian Dalban, two former equity proprietary traders from Nomura. Bluecrest declined to comment on the hires, but people close to the firm said Dalban has already joined. We did not speak to Larkin or Dalban.

BlueCrest currently lacks an equities offering. As of Jan.1, 2013, the fund had $35.3bn under management, most of which was divided between two funds - BlueCrest International ($14.3bn), a fixed income macro fund, and BlueTrend, a systematic trading fund ($14.4bn). The remainder was spread between an emerging markets fund and BlueTrend, a fund of funds.

John Godden, chief executive of hedge fund advisory firm IGS, said it would make sense for BlueCrest to be set up an equities fund. "Everyone's expecting equities to do well this year and it's a strategy that a lot of hedge funds want to be attached to," he said.

Last October, it was reported that BlueCrest was overhauling the way some of its systematic trading funds worked after poor returns.

Barry Seath, chief executive of hedge fund-focused Mirage Recruitment, said several multi-billion dollar equities funds are hiring now and that recruitment activity is increasing. "There's hasn't been much happening in the equities space for quite some time, but that seems to be changing," Seath said.

Nomura cut five other proprietary traders from Dalman's team last September. Could they resurface at BlueCrest, too?

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Al
    7 March 2013

    "Third time lucky for Christian" is what my friend Charlie the former Goldman Sachs head of risk arb said to me when we read this. "You know Christian has tried his hand at this hedge fund business a couple of times already and he must think he has the right formula this time or could it be that its just a case of that there is no fool like an old fool ?". Whatever the true story here, we has a little bet between chums that this new endeavour by Bluecrest will not last more than 18 months. The track record of fixed income funds setting up a successful equity businesses is pretty dismal. Of course Charlie and I will be more than happy to prove ourselves wrong if anyone cares to lob us a few hundred million. But until then, we must resign ourselves to living within our limited budgets which Charlie seems to make go much further than I can by the simple subterfuge of being absent whenever its his turn to buy a round at the Crown and Feathers. Hey ho, man the barricades !

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