Winton Capital Management: Pay, profits and headcount surges

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Winton Capital Management, the quantitative hedge fund with expansion ambitions to hire 100 staff and eventually transform itself into a fund management company, has nearly doubled profits, bolstered pay and added to its headcount over the past 12 months.

In accounts filed today on Companies House for the year to 31 December 2013, Winton posted gross profits of £318.8m, compared to £176.5m for the previous year. It was, admittedly, a bad year for Winton in 2012, but even then the firm reiterated its desire to continue to hire.

It now has 281 employees across its offices in Oxford, London and Zurich, compared to 258 in 2012 and has plans to add another 100 employees, according to David Harding, the Cambridge-educated physicist who founded the company in 1997. It is also planning new offices in New York and Tokyo, having opened an operation in Sydney earlier this year.

The majority of its staff (134) still work in operations and administration, with 94 working in research and software development, 30 in marketing and investor relations and 23 in investing operations.

Not surprisingly, Winton has also been boosting its remuneration, allocating over £84m to salaries and bonuses in 2013, compared to £69.8m in 2012. This works out as an average of £298.9k per head – modest by hedge fund standards – but the high proportion of back office staff means this is not divided equally.

The firm allocated £18.9m to its five directors, which is included within the overall compensation figure. Harding, who has an estimated net worth of £750m, is unusual among prominent hedge fund managers in that he is among the UK’s largest tax payers – having paid £34m in 2012 – which he views as important to avoid “too much anger being directed at you” by the public, according to a recent FT interview.

There are softer benefits to working at Winton that it outlines in its accounts. For instance, it opens its share scheme to all employees and has quarterly town hall meetings to give everyone an update on company performance and strategy. What’s more, it matches any charitable contributions by its employees up to the value of £10,000 and made donations of £357k throughout 2013.

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