ExodusPoint's new big hire suggests the dangers of leaving a cosy bank job for a hedge fund

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Leaving banking for a hedge fund

ExodusPoint Capital Management is still at it. The $8bn hedge fund, which has been one of this year's big hirers on both sides of the Atlantic, just added Stanislas de Caumont in London. De Caumont joined this month, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Like many of ExodusPoint's recruits, de Caumont is no stranger to working for a hedge fund. Before ExodusPoint, he was a former global macro portfolio manager at Steve Cohen's Point72. Before that, he was at Balyasny Asset Management in London. Before Balyasny he was at SAC Capital (also then run by Steve Cohen).

In the past five years de Caumont has worked for five hedge funds, ExodusPoint included.

Before immersing himself in the hedge fund waters, however, de Caumont was bobbing about in an investment bank. He spent nine years at Credit Suisse, latterly as head of government bonds, inflation and repo for Europe. Prior to that he was nearly four years at Lehman Brothers and five years at Salomon Brothers. Even at Lehman, de Caumont's tenure was longer than at any of the hedge funds he's worked for.

This may simply be chance. De Caumont left SAC Capital in 2013, after the fund closed its London office in the wake of an insider trading investigation (there is no indication at all that De Caumont was implicated). His decision to leave Balyasny in December 2015 looks well-timed in light of that fund's recent mass layoffs and may have been motivated by a desire to work with Cohen again. His decision to leave Point72 and join ExodusPoint may just be because ExodusPoint is the place to be right now.

Whatever de Caumont's motivation, however, it's hard not to conclude that banking careers can be more steady than careers on the buy-side. In the hedge fund world, there's a far greater tendency to jump from firm to firm every few years.

De Caumont isn't the only one doing it; some of ExodusPoint's other recent hires from rival funds have similar CVs. For example, Luiz Fernando Beltreschi, who joined ExodusPoint in New York in October, has worked for four funds (ExodusPoint again included) in six years. Raghav Subbarao, a quant trader who joined in London in November, previous spent less than three years at Citadel and less than three years at Millennium Capital. Some of ExodusPoint's own recent hires appear to be moving on already - Larry Chen, an experienced macro trader who joined in April 2018, now claims to be self-employed.

This doesn't mean that hedge funds like ExodusPoint don't provide good careers for people leaving investment banks. It does mean that you might need to be prepared for a bumpier career if you join one. Not that this is likely to dissuade anyone. One of ExodusPoint's most recent ex-banking hires is Rick Gelband, who joined in September from Goldman Sachs, where he was an associate in FX sales. He shares a surname with Michael Gelband, ExodusPoint's founder and may therefore be looking for some stability with his immediate or extended family (although this may just be coincidence and they could be unrelated entirely).

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