Quant hedge fund more than doubles profits – and pay – before horror show summer

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Cantab Capital has had a disastrous summer – with its flagship fund, Aristarchus, posting its worst ever loss of 14.2% in June. Its staff can, perhaps, console themselves with bumper payouts in the period immediately before that.

The Cambridge-based quantitatively driven hedge fund set up by Ewan Kirk has just filed its annual results to 31 March 2013 on Companies House and had a decent year. Profits hit £52.6m for the period, up from £22.6m in 2012.

It has rewarded its staff accordingly – the salary and bonus pool increased from £7.9m in 2012 to £14.2m in 2013, despite the firm only adding nine staff during this period, amounting to an average payout of £346.3k per head. However, 25 of its 41 employees work in investment functions and would have received the majority of this.

Meanwhile, ‘distributions’ to its members during the year were £27.8m, up from £12.3m in 2012. There are just six members at Cantab, including founder Ewan Kirk and chief technology officer and former Goldman Sachs managing director Erich Schlaikjer.

Cantab is comparatively small and aims to maintain a ‘familial’ atmosphere. It supposedly has a taste for geeky purchases and…elaborate cake-baking – Schlaikjer quipped to us previously that they have an in-house pastry officer.

Despite this, it’s recruitment processes are vigorous; most of its employees come armed with quantitative PhDs, usually from Cambridge University. It receives, on average, around 700 CVs a year, but hires just a handful of people annually.

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