DE Shaw's staff should count themselves lucky

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Something's up at DE Shaw. The Financial Times reports that the hedge fund - which only last week tried to keep its people happy with some new fertility and surrogacy services, is simultaneously upsetting its staff by asking some of them to sign non-competes and threatening to terminate them if they don't. 

The new non-competes last up to 12 months in the U.S. and up to nine months in the UK and Hong Kong.  DE Shaw's staff are not at all happy: “There’s definitely a feeling of annoyance,” one employee told the FT. “We’re not OK with it."

This may be so, but things could be worse. They could, for example, work at Citadel, where two year non-competes are par for the course and people who resigned many years ago are still tending their gardens. They could also work for Point72, which is said to impose 18 month non-competes on senior staff it would rather keep. 

DE Shaw is even offering concessions to sweeten the imposition of the new contracts. - Staff who refuse to sign and are terminated in September (the deadline for signing) will still get to keep their deferred bonuses. At that point they might want to join somewhere like Millennium - which is known to impose far less punitive restrictions on staff who leave, even if they go to rivals. 

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