Michael Chew, ExodusPoint Capital Management’s first-ever chief technology officer, has left his role as the day-to-day CTO of the hedge fund startup and has moved into a consulting position within the company, sources with knowledge of the move told eFinancialCareers. A handful of other employees within the firm’s technology division are also said to have left in recent weeks, though it’s unclear if the moves are related. ExodusPoint and Chew didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Part of the original class of ExodusPoint executives, Chew spent several years working alongside founder Michael Gelband at Millennium Management, where Chew headed up risk technology for its fixed income group. Gelband and Chew also overlapped for more than 15 years at Lehman Brothers.
Another source close to the firm says Chew’s role was to handle the initial buildout of the company’s technology backbone, which has been completed. The firm is said to employ more of a decentralized technology infrastructure where engineers build out bespoke solutions for portfolio managers as needed. Sonny Baillargeon, the fund’s new global head of infrastructure who recently held similar roles at KCG and Citadel, has taken on additional day-to-day responsibilities as Chew has taken a step back. ExodusPoint is said to have over 100 technologists on staff but has parted ways with several recently, according to sources. (Update: Chew's name has since been removed from the company website's list of top executives.)
Despite a difficult fundraising environment, ExodusPoint became the largest hedge fund startup ever with north of $8bn in assets prior to launch. Dozens of former Millennium staff have since joined ExodusPoint, though Chew, co-founder Hyung Lee, chief risk officer Dev Joneja and COO Enrico Corsalini, among other Millennium alumni, were there from the beginning.
ExodusPoint made early headlines due to its unparalleled fundraising as well as its thirst for growth. The hedge fund has been in firm hiring mode since inception, adding dozens of portfolio managers, traders and analysts in New York and London. It reportedly agreed to expand its office space at its Park Avenue Tower only a handful of months after its launch date.
While the fund is up on the year, ExodusPoint hasn’t performed to the level of some other notable multi-strategy funds, according to first-half figures accumulated by Bloomberg. Through the six months ended in June, ExodusPoint returned 3.3% compared to a 4.5% return at Millennium. Citadel (13.6%), Och-Ziff Capital Management (11.9%), Point72 Asset Management (9.2%) and Balyasny Asset Management (7.8%) were some of the bigger industry names to significantly outperform similar funds during the first six months of 2019. The average multi-strategy fund gained roughly 6% during the first half of the year, according to Hedge Fund Research.
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