$11 billion hedge fund Millennium sees Asia staff turnover

Large multi-strategy fund Millennium Management has some new names on its bench in Asia, but has seen more departures.
$11 billion hedge fund Millennium sees Asia staff turnover

Millennium Management, a global fund which has $11 billion in assets under management and maintains Asian offices in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore, has been picking up new staff after losing a number through spring and summer this year.

In Singapore, Millennium has hired Pawan Kalia from National Australia Bank to work in its global macro portfolio management team. On the same desk, Samir Joshi has left and is now at BNP Paribas in London. He was replaced by Mark Dixon. Ed Scott, who was on the trading desk, has been promoted to portfolio analyst.

Meanwhile, Bill Schumaker and V. Venkatesh exited Millennium’s global macro foreign exchange portfolio management in Singapore during the spring. AsianInvestor could not ascertain their new location by press time.

After the March 11 earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, making money on index arbitrage became challenging. In volatile markets index arbitrage is usually a good money-maker, but the disaster took everyone by surprise.

At that point Millennium cut back on its index arbitrage groups across Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo. Of the three teams, two made losses and were cut.

One of the two was a five-strong group run by Thierry Choffel and David Bijaoui, both ex-Lehman prop traders who had been with Millennium since February 2009. Both are now understood to be taking time off.

The other was a 10-person team reporting to Stephane Reverre, who was previously global head of index arbitrage at Natixis before joining Millennium Management in mid-2009. Reverre's team included PMs based in Paris but trading Asia.

Millennium's remaining index arbitrage team in Asia is run by Chuck Yip, who is ex-JP Morgan. Marc Blenkiron also joined Millennium’s stat arb desk in Singapore in June from Credit Suisse in Hong Kong.

Millennium declined to comment on the hires.

The Millennium Partners Fund operates through a variety of strategies including relative-value fundamental equity, statistical arbitrage/quant, fixed income and merger arbitrage/event driven. The firm employs over 100 portfolio managers globally. It is understood that year-on year headcount in Asia has gone up from 70 to 116.

Separately, Millennium is also reported to be looking to sell a minority stake in the firm, which represents a change in strategy considering that its chairman, CEO and founder, Israel Englander, had previously maintained close control over the equity ownership.

Heading capital markets in Asia for Millennium is Lehman veteran Hyung Lee, and the Millennium Asian chairman is another Korean of Lehman pedigree, KunHo Cho.

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.