Michael Hintze's CQS has been making some big hires
CQS is hiring again. After cutting back on headcount over the past year, Michael Hintze's hedge fund has signed off on some senior recruits on the back of an increase in assets under management.
Suraj Gohil has just joined as a portfolio manager focused on non-Asia emerging markets from Observatory Capital Management. Joakim Larsson, who was previously in business development and marketing at BTG Pactual in London has also joined as a business development manager.
CQS has also just confirmed some other senior appointments. Prakash Narayanan, who was a partner and portfolio manager at Saba Capital and head of its London operation has signed up as a senior portfolio manager. Nick Pappas, most recently the co-CEO for Europe at Blue Mountain Capital Management, has now been officially named as its new head of credit after numerous reports on his recruitment by CQS. Both men have a background in senior trading jobs on the sell-side - Narayanan was formerly a managing director and head of North American leveraged finance trading at Deutsche Bank, while Pappas was formerly head of distressed credit trading at Goldman Sachs.
However, Matthew James, CQS's head of research chief strategist, is leaving at the end of September. James joined CQS in September 2015, from Brevan Howard where he was a partner and senior credit strategist.
CQS now has $13.7bn in assets under management, up from $12bn the beginning of this year. In December, Michael Hintze said that CQS had "streamlined the business" and 50 staff had departed. Its results to 31 March 2017 suggest that these cuts have continued - it had 144 people, down from 160 at the end of 2016.
Sources in CQS suggest that the investment manager is now hiring again and looking to build its team on the back of improved performance and a boost in assets under management.
Its credit multi-asset fund is up 4.4% year to date, sources suggest, while its diversified and ABS (asset backed securities) funds (down 2.6% and 2.4% respectively in 2015) are up 5% and 8.5% so far in 2017.
CQS has continued to pay its employees well in spite of the cuts. It shelled out £30.9m for its 160 employees in 2016, up from £20.6m in 2015, or an average of £193k per head. Its partners also received a hefty bump up in compensation, with an average payment of £3m, up from £1.55m the previous year. The member with the highest entitlement was paid £65m, compared to £11.2m the previous year.
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