Graticule, BFAM Add Managers Amid Hedge-Fund Industry’s Turmoil

  • Graticule hires BlueCrest’s Candy as CEO, Millennium adds two
  • BFAM taps Credit Suisse’s Fung, Nine Masts appoints Meulot

Graticule Asset Management, BFAM Partners and Nine Masts Capital are among Asian hedge-fund firms hiring senior managers after boosting assets in an industry that’s suffered from investor outflows.

Graticule, Adam Levinson’s $4.5 billion Singapore-based macro hedge-fund firm, recruited Jonathan Candy from BlueCrest Capital Management as chief executive officer, according to a person with knowledge of the matter and a regulatory filing. BFAM, the $1.8 billion hedge fund firm led by Benjamin Fuchs, hired Eugene Fung from Credit Suisse Group AG to run credit investments, its March newsletter to investors showed.

Benoit Meulot, who until earlier this year was a global equity derivatives manager with Grupo BTG Pactual’s hedge fund unit in Hong Kong, joined Nine Masts’ investment team, according to a person with knowledge of the matter and licensing records. Izzy Englander’s $34 billion Millennium Management hired Joo Han Lua and Liu Xuan as Singapore-based fund managers from Steven A. Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management, said a person with knowledge of the matter.

Hedge funds with stable or growing assets have been able to poach employees from competitors that have struggled to post consistent returns. The $2.9 trillion global hedge fund industry lost an estimated $15.1 billion of assets in the first three months of this year, the biggest quarterly outflow since June 2009, and at least 979 funds were liquidated last year, according to Hedge Fund Research Inc.

Established Funds

"Mostly, established hedge funds are hiring from competitors who are not looking to deploy more capital in Asia and also from funds that are closing down or converting to family offices," said Will Tan, a managing director at Singapore-based recruiter Principal Partners Pte.

Spokesmen for Graticule, BFAM, Millennium and Nine Masts declined to comment on the hires.

BlueCrest announced in December that it was returning all $7 billion of client money to focus on managing the fortune of its partners and employees, including billionaire Michael Platt, citing declining fees and rising costs. Candy, who was CEO of BlueCrest’s Singapore unit, joined departing managers including former partners Frederic Favre and Alexandre Germak.

Graticule managed $4.5 billion of assets by the end of March, up from $4 billion a year earlier, according to the quarterly reports from Fortress Investment Group LLC. The Singapore-based firm was born out of the spinoff of Fortress’s Asia macro hedge fund in January 2015 and counts Fortress as a backer.

Before joining BFAM earlier this month, Fung was most recently Asia-Pacific head of convertible bonds and corporate derivatives at Credit Suisse. The Hong Kong-based hedge fund firm led by Fuchs, a former Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. proprietary trader, has boosted assets by 55 percent since July 1. Its Asia-focused hedge fund returned 5.9 percent in the first four months, a period during which the global industry eked out a 0.3 percent gain and industry veterans including Dan Loeb of Third Point and Bill Ackman of Pershing Square lost money.

Hedge funds who previously had to recruit from banks are increasingly able to hire qualified people from other funds as the industry matures in Asia, said Tan.

Meulot’s ex-employer, the hedge fund unit of BTG Pactual, shut its Hong Kong office this year as it shrank operations following a slump in assets under management. Nine Masts, which oversees about $1 billion, was founded by former Deutsche Bank AG and DKR Oasis Management traders.

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