For investment banks' traders going into hedge funds, the new thing now is to target 'family offices'. Point72 Asset Management, Steve Cohen's family office, has been hiring and ex-Brevan Howard star trader Chris Rokos has also been building his family office over the past year. Even Bluecrest Capital Management, which has long been the hedge fund of choice for banks' traders, has retreated to managing its own capital.
Willett Advisors, which invests the personal and philanthropic assets of Michael Bloomberg, is another option for those with investment banking experience.
Jonathan Hughes, who Willett hired away from Goldman Sachs’s prime brokerage division, is the latest example. He joined Willett in April after nearly nine years at Goldman and will now focus on hedge funds at the family office of the former Mayor of New York.
Willett has a history of hiring from bulge bracket banks. Its chairman, Steve Rattner, previously worked at Morgan Stanley and Lazard, but was managing principal of Quadrangle Group immediately before signing up to Bloomberg's family office. And its chief investment officer, Alice Ruth, spent 12 years as a managing director and co-head of equity research at Montgomery Securities/Bank of America.
Outside of the executive suite, Willett has been hiring juniors from bulge bracket banks too. John Howie, a senior associate at Willett Advisors, was previously an associate at J.P. Morgan, as was Peter Krow, who now focuses on direct investments at the firm. Viral Ghandi, an associate director at Willett, was an associate in Morgan Stanley's IBD team.
With hedge funds bemoaning the lack of talent available on the sell-side, a move to a family office may be the way forward for investment bankers looking for a buy-side switch.
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