BlueCrest Capital Management continues to snap up senior traders from banks as it aggressively builds its Singapore business. Amid a string of recent hires, two of the latest people to swap the sell-side for portfolio manager (PM) jobs at BlueCrest are Vipul Agarwal and Chiga Murayama, who have joined from Nomura and BNP Paribas, respectively.
Murayama has relocated to Singapore from Tokyo, where he was head of Japanese macro trading at BNP Paribas for four and a half years, according to his online profile. Prior to that, he did a stint of more than eight years as a Japanese government bond trader at Barclays’ Tokyo office.
Agarwal, meanwhile, worked at Nomura for 10 years, latterly as a Singapore-based managing director. He began his career in 2000, working in FX trading for Standard Chartered and then Barclays in Mumbai, according to his profile.
BlueCrest, the private investment firm run by billionaire investor Michael Platt, has developed a fondness for recruiting its Singapore PMs from large banks. Just last week we reported that Tom Kong has joined the firm, having spent two years as head of G10 FX forwards/STIR trading at Murayama’s former employer, BNP Paribas.
BlueCrest made a 54% gain last year, in contrast to the mediocre returns posted by many large hedge funds, according to Bloomberg. “As BlueCrest has proved that its trading model clearly works well, I think senior sell-side traders are now therefore more willing to take the risk of joining the firm,” says a buy-side headhunter.
The investment firm’s growing ability to attract senior candidates in Singapore comes at an opportune time. “BlueCrest closed down its Hong Kong operation last year, which is now allowing it to really focus on growing its Singapore business,” says the headhunter.
Other recent banking recruits to BlueCrest in Singapore include Nicolas Fanchon, an executive director in fixed income proprietary trading at Nomura, who joined BlueCrest in July as a PM. Last September Laurent Piedois, ANZ’s head of FX options for Europe and America also came on board as a PM. Piedois’ move came a few months after those of two ex-Barclays employees, who are now working as BlueCrest PMs in Singapore: Varun Kodthivada, the UK bank’s former head of Southeast Asia rates trading, and veteran trader Ashish Saksena, who spent more than 12 years at Barclays, latterly as a managing director.
In June last year, BlueCrest in Singapore took on yet another banking boss when Ron Choy, Credit Suisse’s head of APAC rates and head of APAC investor product group, joined as a PM. That same month, Deutsche Bank’s former head of fixed income and currency trading for China, Yun Zou, also became a BlueCrest PM.
BlueCrest’s liking for senior traders from banks may also be because its Singapore CEO, Pierre Mauratille, comes from this background. Before joining Bluecrest in 2012, Mauratille was a director of yen interest rates trading at Barclays in Tokyo.
Several of BlueCrest’s Singapore PMs also have Barclays on their resumes. New recruits Agarwal and Murayama are alumni of the bank, as are Kodthivada, Saksena and Kong.
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