Citadel's Griffin Says Hedge Fund Talent Is There to Snag

A week after billionaire Steve Cohen said he was “blown away” by the scarcity of talented people in the hedge fund industry, investor Ken Griffin said they exist but you need to hire them from other people’s firms.

“Every new generation of managers has this great story about how it’s never been so difficult to find talent,” billionaire Griffin, who runs hedge fund Citadel, said at the SkyBridge Alternatives Conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

“The best talent is talent you go out and find. You need to avoid adverse selection,” he added. “The talent you want to hire is the talent you want to pull from someone else.”

Griffin said his Chicago-based Citadel hired the quantitative-research group from Enron Corp. “within hours” of the energy company’s bankruptcy filing in 2001.

Cohen said at a conference last week that it’s not easy to find “great people” and that his Point72 Asset Management whittles down “the funnel to maybe 2 to 4 percent of the candidates we’re interested in. Talent is really thin.”

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