High-paying hedge fund swoops on Credit Suisse derivatives chief

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Mathias Berenger, managing director and head of European vanilla options trading at Credit Suisse has left to join high-paying hedge fund Capula Investment Management.

Berenger, a derivatives trading veteran who has been in the sector since 1996, joined fixed income focused hedge fund Capula in April, regulatory filings show. For nearly three years, he has been head of vanilla options trading at the Swiss bank, having previously held the same position at Barclays investment bank.

Capula, launched by former JPMorgan prop trader Yan Huo in 2005, has traditionally been a generous payer to its employees. In 2012 - excluding the £56.6m it shelled out to the highest paid member - it paid an average of £4.1m to its 21 partners, a figure that fell to £2.2m in 2013. Last year was tough for the firm, as profits dropped to £57.9m for the 12 months to March 2013 from £37.9m in 2012.

Despite this, Capula has been hiring. It increased its headcount from 66 in 2012 to 95 last year, and Berenger’s appointment is another example of investment banking traders making the move to hedge funds.

Berenger started his career as a fixed income derivatives trader at Credit Agricole’s investment bank in Madrid in 1996 and only moved to London in 2002 to become a European flow trader at Citi. He stayed there for seven years, eventually heading up its U.S. volatility trading business before moving to Barclays in 2010.

He has a degree in applied mathematics from Ecole nationale supérieure des Mines de Paris.