More senior ex-bankers depart from BlueCrest Capital Management

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You made the momentous move from an investment bank's trading floor to a hedge fund. Even better, the hedge fund is expanding while your bank continues to roll out strategy reviews that see colleagues depart. Wise move, but can you cut it?

BlueCrest Capital Management continues to expand. In the first two months of 2015 alone, nine new hires have registered with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority Register and this follows a huge recruitment spree throughout 2013 and 2014.

And yet, staff turnover remains an issue. Senior traders who quit large investment banks for positions at the hedge fund have left in the past couple of weeks, often after less than 12 months in the job.

Ben Lewis, who spent 15 years at Deutsche Bank before joining BlueCrest in February last year, has just departed, as has Mehdi-Laurent Akkar, a quantitative portfolio manager on the hedge fund’s equities platform, who joined from BNP Paribas in October 2013.

Elsewhere, long-time investment banking traders have also found their tenures relatively short-lived. David Craggs, a former managing director at Deutsche Bank who spent nearly 21 years at the firm, lasted less than three years at BlueCrest and left in January. Karl Massey left Barclays for BlueCrest in June 2013 after stints at Deutsche Bank, UBS O’Connor and Brevan Howard, but departed in February. Meanwhile, Takeshi Makita, a long-term investment banking trader who joined from J.P. Morgan in latest 2012, left earlier this month.

In New York, Eugene Gokhvat, a trader who joined from Morgan Stanley in 2012, is also said to be on his way out.

BlueCrest could be leaking staff for any number of reasons, but it is intolerant of underperformance and isn’t hesitant in ejecting those who don’t make the grade. In an interview with Bloomberg late last year, BlueCrest’s CFO Andrew Dodd said: “If we don’t like a trader’s risk, then departures can be quite abrupt.”

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