SAC Trader Lia Forcina Said to Leave Hedge Fund for BlueCrest

Lia Forcina, who managed more than $700 million at SAC Capital Advisors LP, has left the hedge-fund firm for BlueCrest Capital Management LLP, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

Forcina, 39, agreed to join BlueCrest this month, said the people, who asked not to be identified because her move hasn’t been publicly announced. At SAC, she was a portfolio manager based in London who traded the stocks of financial companies, the people said.

Traders have been leaving SAC’s London office this year, with some of them joining rivals such as BlueCrest and Millennium Management LLC, as the hedge-fund firm founded by Steven Cohen fights charges of insider trading. A grand jury indicted SAC in July on allegations that the $14 billion firm engaged in unprecedented illegal trading for more than a decade.

Contact information for Forcina couldn’t be located through U.K. directory assistance. A person who answered the phone at SAC’s London offices said Forcina left the firm earlier this month. Spokesmen for SAC and BlueCrest declined to comment.

Forcina is at least the fifth portfolio manager to leave SAC in the U.K., according to regulatory records and people familiar with the matter. Others departures include Alidod Shirinbekov, who is also joining London-based BlueCrest, and John Levavasseur, who joined New York-based Millennium.

BlueCrest’s Expansion

BlueCrest, a $35 billion hedge-fund firm that mainly trades fixed-income, has expanded into equities this year and hired people after assets under management more than doubled since the end of 2009. Michael Platt, a former JPMorgan Chase & Co. proprietary trader, founded BlueCrest in 2000.

SAC, started by Cohen 21 years ago, increased 2014 bonuses by 3.5 percentage points in an effort to retain employees, a person with knowledge of the matter said last month. SAC portfolio managers are typically paid an annual bonus of 15 percent to 25 percent of the profits they generate from their investments.

SAC expects investor redemptions to reduce its assets to $9 billion by the start of 2014, almost all of which will be Cohen and his employees’ personal wealth, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The firm is negotiating a settlement of the insider-trading charges with U.S. prosecutors that would require it to pay more than $1 billion in penalties and stop managing money for external clients, the New York Times reported Oct. 17, citing people briefed on the case.

At the time of the July 25 indictment, SAC said it never encouraged, promoted or tolerated illegal trading.

Forcina joined SAC in 2011 after departing from London-based hedge-fund firm Fenician Capital Management LLP, according to her registration with the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority. She worked at Morgan Stanley from 2002 through 2005.