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He's pretty fussy.

Ken Griffin is doing some big hiring for his equities businesses

When you hear the name Ken Griffin in relation to hedge funds, you probably think of Citadel, the hedge fund/behemoth with $32bn in assets under management that Griffin founded in 1990. However, Griffin’s fund includes five core investment businesses – equities, fixed income and macro, credit, commodities and quantitative strategies. Within equities, there are three distinct businesses, Citadel Global Equities, Surveyor Capital and Ashler Capital. Both Surveyor and Ashler have been doing some big recruiting, on different sites of the Atlantic.

Surveyor, which is the more established of the two, has been around since 2008 but only came to London in 2018 and has been hiring ever since under Sean Salji, head of Surveyor Europe, who assumed the role in September 2018 after working for Citadel Global Equities in 2005. The Surveyor business now has around 31 portfolio managers globally according to LinkedIn - up from the 30 Business Insider said it had at the start of last year. By comparison, Ashler Capital was founded in 2018 and has initially focused on growth in the U.S.: it currently has 10 portfolio managers with two more set to join in the coming months, split between Chicago, New York City and San Francisco. 

Salji isn't the only one drawn from elsewhere within Citadel. The senior management at both funds came from the mother ship: Ashler head Matt Simon was a portfolio manager at Citadel Global Equities for fourteen years until Ashler was founded in January 2018, and Surveyor head Todd Barker was at Citadel for 12 years until he joined Surveyor in 2016.

Getting a job in either business is unlikely to be easy. In an interview in April last year, Salji said he'd interviewed over 200 people for jobs at Surveyor in London over the previous five months. Ten months' later, Surveyor only has 16 London employees listed on LinkedIn.

Things may, however, be looking up for anyone who aspires to join Citadel's equities-babies. In the past three months, Surveyor has made at least nineteen hires in both London and New York.  Andrew Im joined as a NY analyst from Suvretta Capital Management; Jonathan Pragel joined as a NY analyst from Nuveen, an investment management firm; Drew Gillanders joined as a portfolio manager in London from Point72; Joseph Lockey joined as a senior associate from Morgan Stanley covering pharmaceuticals; Tricia Sun joined as an associate from Goldman Sachs; Michael DiNapoli joined as a European industrials analyst from Anchor Bolt Capital; Matthew Amos joined as a senior associate from Anchor Bolt Capital; and Keisi Hysa joined as a senior associate from Berenberg.

Ashler's hiring is entirely focused on the U.S..The fund added former JPMorgan equity researcher James Allen in November, plus former Point72 portfolio manager David Corwin in January, and San Francisco-based TMT portfolio manager Joyce Jen in February.

In general, Surveyor likes its investment professionals to be experienced. Portfolio managers have typically been in the business for nearly two decades, while analysts have typically been in the business for over 10 years. However, Surveyor's presence at this month's Alternative Investment Conference run by students at the London School of Economics suggest the business might be open to more junior hires too. Barker, Salji, and Simon all joined Citadel at the associate or analyst level, and both businesses say they place a huge focus on developing the next generation of investment talent.   

A prerequisite for success across Citadel would seem to be a willingness to put in the hours. Speaking earlier this month, Ken Griffin said today's corporate culture is too soft. "[Leaders] don't happen because you work 9-to-5 and then have a great weekend," Griffin said. "You need to learn how to make decisions, you need to learn how to work with people around you." Griffin also put himself out there as an admirer of Goldman Sachs' historic two year analyst program, which he said forged people under pressure and, "was renowned for the experiences and the expectations and the demands put on you."

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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