Hedge Fund Balyasny Bans Hiring From Ken Griffin’s Citadel Unit

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(Bloomberg) — Balyasny Asset Management says it can no longer hire from hedge fund Citadel’s Global Fixed Income business, a rare halt among rivals that often poach talent from each other.

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The investment firm told headhunters earlier this month not to recommend potential staff from the Citadel unit, according to a memo seen by Bloomberg. The ban extends to anyone who works there or supports the business, as well as those that worked for the unit after May 15 but have since left. 

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Balyasny did not provide any reason for the unprecedented decision. A representative for Balyasny declined to comment, while another for Citadel, which was founded by billionaire Ken Griffin, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The move cuts Balyasny off from a fertile hunting ground for traders at a time when hedge funds’ talent war has reached feverish heights. Multi-strategy investment firms such as Balyasny and Citadel rely on dozens of teams of traders to bet across asset classes and regularly hire to expand into new areas or strengthen expertise.

Talent has previous become a flashpoint for dispute among hedge funds. In 2018, Schonfeld Strategic Advisors filed a lawsuit against its former head of human capital and ExodusPoint Capital Management, seeking to bar them from using confidential information to solicit and hire its employees.

An increasing number of traders are abandoning plans to start their own hedge funds and instead choosing to join existing multi-manager platforms that are paying top dollars to hire and retain them. Schonfeld is among firms offering incentives to attract talent, with a hefty cut of profits as part of its foray into macro trading. 

Read More: Schonfeld’s Duo Joins Hedge Fund Talent War With Payout Bid

“Until further notice, we can no longer solicit or hire anyone from Citadel’s Global Fixed Income business,” Balyasny said in the memo. The ban includes even employees who worked for the unit on or after Jan. 1, 2019 but now work for a different division in the firm.

(Updates with more information from the memo in the last paragraph)

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