This $13bn hedge fund has been hiring a lot of quants

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Call it a sign of the times, but even as Capula Investment Management has been losing senior investment staff in more traditional strategies, it’s been building its quant desk.

Since hiring David Buttle, a former portfolio manager within Citadel’s global quantitative strategies (GQS) unit in April, Capula has gradually been adding quants in London.

Daniel Farquet, a former quantitative trader at KCG Holdings who left in August following its takeover by rival high frequency trading firm Virtu, joined as a systematic researcher in September. So did Graeme Pope, a former strategist at Goldman Sachs in London, while Amber Wright – a former fixed income options trader at Barclays – has joined as a systematic trader. Meanwhile, Joachim Redies, a former research developer at Man AHL, also joined as a senior quantitative developer at Capula last month.

This is all part of a quiet build out of systematic and technology functions at the hedge fund that has picked up throughout 2017.

Samir Oubouzar, a former delta one trader at Bank of America Merill Lynch, joined Capula as a systematic researcher in March, Steven Burnett came from Alphadyne Asset Management in February and Arnaud Robin, a former developer at Man Group, joined as a systematic technologist earlier this month.

Capula also brought in George Tsimperopoulos, head of technology at $8.2bn BlueCrest Capital Management quant spinout Systemica Investments, as co-chief technology officer in May.

Capula was founded in 2005 by Yan Huo, the former head of fixed income proprietary trading at J.P. Morgan and Masao Asai. It has a fixed income focus, and has managed to sway former senior traders from various large investment banks across to its ranks over the years including Mathias Berenger, the former head of vanilla options trading at Credit Suisse who joined Capula in 2014 but left late last year to run his own consultancy, and David Sobotka, the former head of FICC trading at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, who joined in October 2015 as head of macro trading. Capula employs a relative value strategy and its main fund – the Capula Global Relative Value Master Fund – seeks to exploit anomalies in pricing across macro products. The quant buildout is therefore something of a departure.

As quants join, senior staff in more traditional roles have been departing from the hedge fund. Steven Gregornik, a partner and its chief executive officer, left in September. David Gu, co-CIO and partner at Capula, left the hedge fund to join Adarga Limited in June, while co-head of investor relations, Thorkild Junker, left in July.

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Image: Getty Images

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