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Moore Capital has hired the head of investment strategy from the hedge fund formerly owned by J.P. Morgan and another big recruit.

This hedge fund has been making some big hires just before Christmas

Moore Capital Management has largely been losing senior staff in London this year, particularly former SAC Capital Advisors’ staff who have usually departed to join Steve Cohen’s new Point72 Asset Management UK operation.

But in the past few weeks Louis Bacon’s hedge fund has made some major new hires. Most notably, Kevin McNamara, the former head of global investment strategy at Highbridge Capital Management, joined at the end of November.

McNamara transferred across to London from New York as part of Highbridge’s UK expansion in 2014. Highbridge largely poached from rivals at the time – including recruiting Jon Ashley, a former managing director in Fortress’ private equity arm – but McNamara made the move back to London. He was previously a commodities trader at Goldman Sachs in the UK until 2005.

As well as McNamara, Moore has also brought in Eric Chen, a former portfolio manager at Visium Asset Management in London. Chen is a long short equity portfolio manager focused on the healthcare sector.

Moore Capital Management announced that it was cutting the management fee on its largest fund – the $7.5bn Macro Managers fund – from 3% to 2.5% earlier this month. Bacon said in a letter to investors that it has “experienced a disappointing negative return year-to-date”.

Largely, this year has been one of contraction for its UK operation. Moore started 2016 with 83 staff registered with the Financial Conduct Authority, but now has 73 people based in London.

Moore lifted a nine-strong investment team out of SAC Capital Advisors in February 2014 after Steve Cohen’s hedge fund closed its London operation. Only two of these employees now remain at Moore, with many choosing to re-join Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management, which has been aggressively expanding its new UK office.

Israa Al Bayaa, a utilities and infrastructure focused portfolio manager, joined as a partner, as did global long-short portfolio manager Arjun Menon as head of capital markets. Analyst Atallah Estephan also re-joined the hedge fund.

AUTHORPaul Clarke

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