Goldman Sachs MDs keep departing for hedge funds

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It's happening again. Senior investment bankers at Goldman Sachs are leaving, before bonuses are paid, for hedge funds.

At least two managing directors and one executive director have left Goldman this months to join hedge funds. They include Dan Cleland-James, a former Goldman managing director and the head of synthetics and quant sales; John Ryan, managing director with securities division MBS; and Theodore Stamos, executive director for high yield and distressed credit.

Cleland-James has joined Millennium Management in London where he will look after business development, according to his LinkedIn profile. Ryan, who was based in New York, has become the chief strategy officer at California-headquartered Genesis Capital LLC. Both the MDs have about two decades of experience. Meanwhile, Stamos, who was located in London, has (curiously) joined Palmer Square Capital Management LLC as an analyst in Kansas, in America.

Cleland-James joined Goldman in 2014 from Barclays, where he served as a director and the head of equity finance group sales trading for over four years. Millennium arguably has a need to hire in London after losing staff to ExodusPoint Capital, the $8bn hedge fund set up by Michael Gelband, its former star fixed income trader, who keeps hiring his ex-colleagues.

Ryan spent over a decade at Goldman which he joined in 2008. Before Goldman, he was with Bear Stearns & Co. as a managing director principal for 11 years. Stamos joined Goldman in 2011, prior to which he worked as a portfolio manager and research analyst for high yield credit fund at Investec Asset Management for about two years and as a senior credit analyst at Blue Mountain Capital Management for about three years. Stamos' migration from London to Kansas City isn't quite as startling in light of the fact that he once studied music at university there.

It's not just senior Goldman salespeople and traders who are going to the buy-side. Corrado Giovanelli, a former managing director at Credit Suisse, quit the Swiss bank this June to join hedge fund Incus Capital in Milan. Earlier this month, Laurent Henrio, the former global head of credit trading at SocGen left the French bank for Axiom Alternative Investments.

Goldman Sachs' securities business has undergone a process of reorganization this year, following the departure of former co-heads Pablo Salame and Isabelle Ealet and the promotion of  Ashok Varadhan, Jim Esposito and - as of Friday, Marty Chavez - as their replacements. Incoming CEO David Solomon has shown a willingness to promote people from his own division (investment banking) to senior management positions. This may be fueling Goldman traders' existing concerns about their pay and encouraging them to look elsewhere.

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