Former Bank of America MD joins ex-Citadel quant head at new hedge fund

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Bank of America’s head of fixed income and equities market sales for the Midwest has left the firm to join Aquatic Capital Management, a new hedge fund founded by Jonathan Graham, who previously led Citadel’s global quantitative division until retiring in 2017. Jon Werts began with Aquatic Capital earlier this month as its chief operating officer.

Werts had been with Bank of America in Chicago for well over a decade. Prior to taking on the market sales lead in 2016, he was the bank’s head of broker dealer execution and electronic derivatives within its equities division. He was also a member of the board of directors for the Options Clearing Corporation (OCC), the world's largest equity derivatives clearing organization. Werts left his role as vice chairman of OCC’s board this month as well, according to LinkedIn.

Meanwhile, Graham is resurfacing more than two years after leaving Chicago-based hedge fund giant Citadel, where he’d spent the previous 13 years before resigning in March of 2017. At the time, a Citadel spokesperson told Reuters that Graham was leaving to take a break from finance. Graham had taken over the division from James Ye, known as the original architect of Citadel’s quantitative businesses. Ye then ironically replaced Graham two years ago and regained his former role.

Details surrounding Aquatic Capital remain sparse, other than the fact that it too is located in Chicago. Neither Graham nor Werts responded to a request for comment. Rumors began to percolate at the end of 2018 that Graham was “laying the groundwork” for his own fund after his non-compete agreement with Citadel had expired, according to Hedge Fund Alert. However, chances are good the fund is quant-driven in nature considering Graham’s background. Aquatic Capital’s only other confirmed hire is a development engineer with a background at high-frequency trading firms.

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