Bluecrest has increased headcount by nearly 30%

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Bluecrest Capital Management has been doing a lot of hiring. As investment banks have cut back on prop trading, this hedge fund has been recruiting top traders and senior bankers as part of an expansion drive that has been going on for the best part of two years.

Just how much hiring BlueCrest has been doing is in evidence in its latest accounts, quietly posted through its various subsidiary firms on Companies House in the UK.

At the end of 2014, the latest accounts available, Bluecrest employed 451 people. This is 100 people more than 2013 – or a 28% increase. Relative to investment banks, of course, this is headcount is small beer, but it’s a large hedge fund that has been growing at an impressive rate.

However, on a per head basis, it is paying slightly less. It paid £110.1m ($167m) to its 451 employees last year, or an average payout of £244.1k ($370k), compared to £248.4k ($376k) per head in 2013.

Its partner ranks in the UK have also been increasing. It had 87 members for at the end of last year, paying them £72m – or an average of £827k – compared to 70 at the end of 2013.

Profits at Bluecrest last year were £14.9m, an increase from £5.2m in 2013.

Bluecrest hires a lot of traders, but has a notorious intolerance for even short periods of under-performance and so staff churn can be something of an issue.

This year, Bluecrest’s recruitment spree has slowed, however it continues to bring in traders from investment banks, albeit on a more selective basis.

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