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The London hedge fund paying over £1m a head

A well-trodden route to the buy-side

The Baupost Group has only been in London for the past three years, has a tiny headcount in the UK capital and just four investment staff. However, it’s still setting itself up as a generous payer.

Its London arm has just posted its 2013 results on Companies House and revealed an operating profit over £1.15m, a modest uplift from £1.07m in 2012. Like most hedge funds, the vast majority of its revenues (£9.9m of £11m) end up being spent on ‘administrative expenses’ – most of which ends up being paid to its employees and partners.

This year it shared £6.47m between just six staff – four of which were in the front office – or around £1.1m per head. Obviously the lion’s share of this would be divided among its investment employees, suggesting that many would have received decidedly more.

Meanwhile, its three members shared a comparatively modest £1.17m, with the highest paid individual receiving £680k. In hedge fund terms, for partners at least, this is pocket change.

Baupost is more generous to its rank-and-file staff and so far this year has been adding to its London office. Richard Carona, long-time principal at the firm, is was authorised Financial Conduct Authority in March and is now based in the UK, according to his LinkedIn profile, as was Jason Clark, its director of European trading, who has been with the company since 2000.

Baupost is a well-known U.S. distressed situations fund with around $26bn in assets under management, set up by ‘legendary investor’ Seth Klarman in 1982. Klarman is known for his colourful investor letters – a recent one compared the markets to The Truman Show – and will impart his investment wisdom to you through his book Margin of Safety: Risk-Averse Value Investing Strategies for the Thoughtful Investor, provided you have a spare $2,600.

In 2013, the Baupost Group posted investment returns averaging 15%, its best year since 2009. The London office is comparatively tiny, having been set up in May 2011 in order to cash in on the European debt crisis, largely targeting investments in commercial real estate, structured products, corporate and distressed debt. Globally it employs around 200 people, largely in Boston, U.S.

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AUTHORPaul Clarke

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