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Remember when juniors were leaving banks to join Balyasny? This helps explain why.

Massive pay at Balyasny a reminder why everyone wanted to work there

It wasn't long ago that all sorts of people were leaving investment banks to work for hedge fund Balyasny Asset Management. Between 2016 and 2017, the fund massively increased its London headcount. Balyasny's results for the year ending December 31st 2017 help explain its popularity.

Balyasny employed 92 people at the end of 2017, up from 69 one year earlier. To these people, it paid a total of £41m in wages and salaries - excluding pension payments and employer's national insurance contributions - an average of £442k per head.

Balyasny's generosity was accompanied by a 22% increase in U.K. revenues to £77m and a 14% increase in operating profits, to £2.5m.

Needless to say, things haven't been quite so merry at Balyasny in 2018. In February, the fund let go of around 10 macro traders from the training programme that were previously so popular with young bankers. In May, another five traders left voluntarily for Point72. Colin Lancaster, the former head of macro strategies at Balyasny joined Citadel in October last year, and has been busy building a team there instead.

Changes to the FCA register suggest hiring has slowed at Balyasny this year, with recent London recruits more likely to include staff transferred from the U.S. (eg. research analyst Stefan Ljubisavljevic) than hired externally.

Separately, Citadel Europe LLP also filed some results for 2017. The fund allocated a massive £125m in profits to its members (partners) during the year. However, alongside Citadel's 13 named members, including the likes of Stefan Ericsson (a senior portfolio manager), Chris Foster (head of European gas trading), Iain Gannon (a director), Benjamin Ansellem (head of power trading), Fotios Panagiotopoulos (another director), Jonas Diedrich (also a director) and Sam Elsokari (a global financials portfolio manager), Citadel's partners are also listed as two corporate members - Citadel Management (Europe) and Citadel Investment Group (Europe), suggesting a large portion of the £125m may not have gone directly to individuals.

Revenues at Citadel Europe were more than twice those of Balyasny in 2017, at £188m. This was an increase of 20% on the previous year.

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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