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So, is a move to Millennium Capital Partners simply too risky?

After 12 months at Millennium Capital?

If you want a job in a hedge fund, Millennium Capital Partners has been the fund to go for. The London-based iteration of Millennium Management, the New York-based fund with $23bn under management, has hired consistently in the past few years. In 2014 alone, it's increased its London-based headcount of FCA Registered employees by a massive 37% - hiring (among others) ex-equity researchers from UBS. 

However, there's a shadowy underside to Millennium's gleaming recruitment record. As with other hedge funds, it also likes to fire people. The deal at Millennium is that you perform. If you don't perform, you're out.

The latest employee to fall foul of this rule is Chris Dale, one of Millennium's longest serving employees. The Financial Times reported last week that Dale had left the fund after eight years because his $1bn+ fund lost '5% in a short period.' Dale's exit came despite a track record of performance in previous years and despite his long tenure and apparent seniority.

We've written about Millennium's 'sink or swim' policy in the past. The FT points out that the fund gives traders who join a small 'slug of capital to invest', which is gradually increased if they make money, but scaled back or removed entirely if they lose money.

While this makes hedge funds like Millennium meritocratic places to work, it also makes them a little risky if you're a trader leaving the comparative security of a bank. The good news is that Millennium seems to be hiring faster than its firing. So far this year, the FCA Register shows that only eight people have left - compared to the 34 arrivals - and that three of the departed have found jobs elsewhere in London.

Last year's exits from Millennium fared less well, however. According to the FCA Register, 25 people left Millennium Capital Partners in 2013 and only eight found jobs elsewhere in London. If you're not absolutely convinced of your ability to succeed, a job at Millennium may lead to a career dead end.

Related articles:

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Investment bank’s expanding internal hedge fund hires Goldman Sachs trader

Proof that trading jobs in investment banks are a fast track to financial mediocrity?

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • ms
    20 January 2015

    Millennium is generally staffed with very smart people, it would be strange that a fund with 20+B AUM would hire subpar employees. They invest in experienced PM's with viable track records and allocate extremely hefty amounts of capital. They refrain from forcing these people to sign absurd non-competes and often allow them to retain IP rights. They also are very generous with % deals. Why anyone is surprised that once it becomes clear a strategy is under-performing they chose to pull the plug instead of pumping more money into a failing strategy? Pretty much any HF or proprietary operation does the same thing. Sure, they have made some hiring mistakes in the past, but that comes with the territory of being a behemoth hedge fund with a ton of money to allocate and not enough strategies to utilize this capital. With regards to their core operations/technology. They don't do any super speedy arbitrage. They felt they missed the boat on this while it was hot, and correctly decided to stick to what they do best - mid/low frequency quant trading. This does not require state of the art infrastructure. Though, there are plenty of good technologists supporting the platform they do have (which is nothing to sneeze at)

  • BT
    12 December 2014

    Don't let the firing myth fool you in to believing that Millennium is stocked with high performing employees. It's not. With the ingestion of ex Big Bank staff over the past four years Millennium's core operations and technology is as lackluster as a DMV.

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