Hedge fund poaches Facebook’s head of AI research

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AQR Capital Management has hired the leader of Facebook’s artificial intelligence research team to head up its own research engineering department. Howard Mansell started at Connecticut-based AQR earlier this month as a managing director.

Like investment banks, hedge funds are competing with big tech firms like Facebook and Google over AI and machine learning talent. Mansell’s defection comes just a month after J.P. Morgan hired away its new head of artificial intelligence from Google, who then poached a senior AI engineer from Facebook after just 10 days on the job.

Mansell is no stranger to the hedge fund industry. He spent four years leading quant strategies at BlueMountain Capital Management before leaving for Facebook in 2016, according to LinkedIn. He also had a short stint at Goldman Sachs following 15 years at Credit Suisse in New York.

A well-known quant fund, AQR appears to be investing heavily in new tech talent. Earlier this month, the firm hired Marcos López de Prado as its head of machine learning. Named a principal at AQR, de Prado most recently led Guggenheim Partners’ quantitative investment strategies business. The company said in the release announcing de Prado’s hire that it would look to bring on more resources to further develop its machine learning tools. Additional hires seem imminent.

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