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This is how much Edward Eisler will be paying all those Deutsche Bank people at Eisler Capital

Edward Eisler is nothing if not consistent. In 2016, he paid employees working in the London office of his eponymous hedge fund an average of £436k each, excluding social security costs. In 2017, he paid them an average of £437k. More than just coincidence?

Eisler's careful handle on compensation comes after the firm went on a hiring spree in 2017 that was perpetuated in 2018. It also follows a substantial drop in margins at the fund as administrative costs went through the roof.

In the year ending December 2017, accounts for Eisler Capital (UK) show the fund doubled its headcount from 13 to 26 people. Last year's recruits included Eleanor Franchitti, the former head of European investor relations at Bluecrest Capital Management and Filippo Fiori from Credit Suisse. In 2018, Eisler has gone all out to raid Deutsche Bank, recruiting former protégé and ex-Deutsche head of macro trading Sam Wisnia in March, followed by Angelo Haritsis, the ex-Goldman Sachs MD who had been leading Deutsche's fixed income strats function, and his team of seven key DB strats in June.

The Deutsche Bank hires have yet to appear in Eisler's accounts, but it seems likely that the fund will pay an average of circa £437k for 2018 too.

All this hiring is taking its toll on profitability. In 2017, revenues at Eisler Capital increased 46% to £24m, but profits fell 25% to £5.3m as administrative expenses more than doubled. The fund attributed part of this increase to its investment in "technology systems' and "quantitative infrastructure."

While Eisler seems determined to keep staff compensation steady, he has more than doubled his own pay. As the only director, Eisler paid himself a salary of £407k in 2017 (up from £184k in 2016). He was also the likely recipient of the £3.99m paid by the fund in dividends for 2017, whereas in 2016 the dividend amounted to nothing at all.

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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