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The $713k-per-head hedge fund on a hiring spree

Banks may be cutting people wholesale, but there’s one hedge fund that’s happy to take them.

That fund is London-based Marshall Wace. Like other hedge funds, it’s been reveling in the high-volatility environment (that the rest of the economy has hated) since the beginning of the war in Ukraine last year. Pay figures for last year, but for the year ending March 2022, it doled out an astronomical £561k (714k) per head.

Some of the fund’s new joiners this month include Dan Shatz and Nick Vedder in New York, as well as O.T. Poon and Nohshad Shah in London. We’ve previously covered Shatz and Shah; Poon joins Marshall Wace as a systematic trader after nearly three years at Citi in London, also as a systematic trader. Vedder, meanwhile, joins as a portfolio manager after 13 years at Weiss, also a hedge fund.

Joining in May were Jaime Brandwood, Greg Benecchi and Zi-Ying Mao. Brandwood joins Marshall Wace as a portfolio manager in London after nearly four years with Balyasny, also in London. Benecchi moved to Marshall Wace to be its head of discretionary volatility from Capstone in New York. And Mao left Rokos in London, where he was an economist, to be a discretionary macro strategist for Marshall Wace in New York.

Marshall Wace also made plenty of other hires earlier this year. Stefanos Roxanis in April from Goldman Sachs; Neil Smaldon the month before from Graham Capital Management, the hedge fund; and Harish Soundararajan in February from Farallon. They 're based in London, New York, and San Francisco respectively.

Why join Marshall Wace now? Bloomberg earlier this month that the fund has begun levying a 0.75% “compensation surcharge” to pay its staff. Founder Paul Marshall said at the time that the multistrategy firms [eg. Citadel] are "driving a bidding war for talent,” and that Marshall Wace might be a better place to work.

“Their modus operandi is transactional, associated with high employee turnover, and is a complete antithesis to the culture of Marshall Wace," said Marshall, of multistrategy funds. By comparison, he said Marshall Wace is,"characterized by long-employment duration and a highly collegiate environment."

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AUTHORZeno Toulon

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