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BlueCrest Hires 3 Credit Traders as Wall Street Retreats

BlueCrest Co-Founder Michael Platt
BlueCrest Capital Management LLP, co-founded in 2000 by Michael Platt, a former JPMorgan Chase & Co. proprietary trader, is expanding as the world's biggest banks face higher global capital requirements and the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act in the U.S. Source: BlueCrest Capital Management Ltd. via Bloomberg

BlueCrest Capital Management LLP, the $36 billion hedge-fund firm run by Michael Platt, hired three credit traders as Wall Street’s biggest banks pull back from riskier businesses.

The firm boosted its credit-derivatives unit with the hires of Simon Gee, previously a managing director at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Sid Gowda from Credit Suisse Group AG, and Daniel Escobar, formerly of Arrowgrass Capital Partners LLP, according to three people familiar with the matter. They’ll join the firm’s London office later this year and report to Andrew Silver, said the people, who asked not to be named because the moves haven’t been publicly announced.

BlueCrest has more than doubled its assets since the end of 2009 as banks comply with new regulations enacted after the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. It’s seeking to create an “investment-bank quality” trading group that avoids big bets on the direction of entire markets and instead profits from smaller market anomalies, according to its website.

The firm, co-founded in 2000 by Platt, a former JPMorgan Chase & Co. proprietary trader, is expanding as the world’s biggest banks face higher global capital requirements and the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act in the U.S. The rules are aimed at preventing another financial crisis like the one in 2008 that led to the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

Asset Growth

BlueCrest has boosted its assets by about $19 billion since the end of 2009 as a fifth year of short-term interest rates near zero and unprecedented bond buying by the Federal Reserve pushes investors into riskier investments such as corporate credit.

Gowda had worked at Credit Suisse for eight years trading an index of credit-default swaps, according to one of the people familiar with the matter. Gee had been at Goldman Sachs since 2000, according to regulatory filings. Escobar worked at Arrowgrass through June 14 after joining the hedge-fund from Deutsche Bank AG in 2009, Financial Conduct Authority records show.

Gowda and Gee declined to comment, and Escobar didn’t return calls to his mobile phone. Ed Orlebar, a BlueCrest spokesman, declined to comment, as did Tiffany Galvin, a Goldman Sachs spokeswoman, Drew Benson, of Credit Suisse, and Nick Lord, a representative for Arrowgrass, the London-based hedge fund started by former Deutsche Bank proprietary traders after they left the lender in 2008.

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