The biggest hedge funds in Paris, and who's hiring
France wasn’t ever really the first place you think of when you thought “hedge fund”, but as the saying goes, the times, they are a-changing.
As recently as 2019, France has had a puny international representation in the hedge fund sphere, beaten even by Sweden and not even a tenth of the assets under management (AUM) of the UK. The 2019 figure, however, is progress; in 2013, France was even behind Switzerland in terms of AUM.
Why have things changed? Well, that’s complicated. Macron’s presidency certainly helped assuage fears that finance had during the Hollande regime. Brexit also helped move some capital around – traders seem to be flocking to Paris, and banks including Citi and Deutsche are building teams there.
So, who’s the biggest and baddest? Who’s hiring? Well, let’s take a look.
Systematic fund ABC Arbitrage, founded in 1995 by Dominique Ceolin (who serves as CEO), ABC boasts 80 employees in 3 offices – Paris, Singapore, and Dublin. The fund describes itself as a “a team of enthusiastic technologists,” and its website happily mentions its number of datacenters, lines of code, and worldwide servers before it mentions its AUM. It’s hiring, too.
One Eleven Capital
A quant fund launched in 2017 by a group of traders from SocGen, most notably the bank’s former head of European trading, Maxime Kahn. One Eleven Capital was initially backed with $300m from Mike Platt’s BlueCrest Capital Management, although it is now understood to have some degree of investment from Millennium, although it is still independent. The fund claims that it is “always looking for talented individuals who have graduated from top engineering schools or universities of science or technology,” both full time and for internships.
Machina Capital is a quant fund based in Paris. Founded in 2017 by a gaggle of former SocGen-ers including portfolio manager Arthur Dénouveaux and ex-trader Arnaud de Lasteyrie, the firm sought to become a European leader in equity investing using artificial intelligence. Dénouveaux left the firm in 2020, but founders including de Lasteyrie, Gilles Follic (a former “electronic market maker”) and ex-trader Chiheb Chouchane are still with the fund.
Capital Fund Management
Founded in 1991 by Jean-Pierre Aguilar, Capital Fund Management (CFM) is a systematic (read: computer-driven) quant fund based in Paris. Led by theoretical physicist Professor Jean-Philippe Bouchaud since Aguilar’s death in a gliding accident in 2009, CFM currently has over 200 employees and $10bn in AUM. Capital Fund Management is not only hiring but has internships.
Tikehau Capital was founded in 2004 by Mathieu Chabran and Antoine Flamarion. They were colleagues at Merrill Lynch in 1997, although both left the bank before starting Tikehau; Chabran went to Deutsche Bank, and Flamarion went to Goldman Sachs. Tikehau has over $37bn in AUM (although the firm operates several investment strategies, not just hedge funds) and 739 employees in total. It, too, offers internships.
Squarepoint has an interesting history. Founded in 2000 as a quant fund within Lehman Brothers in Tokyo, it moved to New York where several other co-founders joined as graduates. The fund was transferred to Barclays in 2008 when Lehman stopped existing and gained its independence eventually in 2014, being bought out by the same founders from Tokyo. The company now has over 1,000 employees – and job openings around the world.
Amundi Alternative Investments
The “largest European Asset Manager” according to its literature, with $2tn under management. Amundi runs hedge fund strategies, some of which were added following its merger with Lyxor last year. Some of its staff include Sylvie Dehove, the deputy global head of structured solutions, who previously served as chief investment officer of alternative investments, and Christophe De Vos, who joined Lyxor in 2009 and transferred to Amundi after the merger and is now a portfolio manager at the group.
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