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Eisler Capital's latest hiring hiring spree coincides with ongoing quiet exits

Eisler Capital, the "intellectually honest hedge fund" based in London, is hiring once again. Having increased investment teams by 50% from 40 to 60 and opened new offices in Jersey, West Palm Beach, and Malta lasty year, the Financial Times today says that Eisler now wants to hire up to 25 new portfolio managers (an increase of circa 25%) to manage between $1bn and $1.5bn of new capital. It's also opening another new office in Dubai. 

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Eisler's new hiring spree is already a little old. So far this month, it's recruited Jeff Russel, formerly of Balyasny for its New York office and Leo Niemeläinen (macro) from Finnish Ilmarinen for London. In January, it hired quant portfolio manager Zhichao Cai from Squarepoint. It's also added new strats like Qi Qin from Goldman Sachs and Petr Shestov, a low latency developer. 

Eisler was up 9.8% for 2023. It pays pretty well: the average UK employee earned $1.2m in 2022, the most recent year for which figures are available. Someone, possibly the founder Edward Eisler who's based in Italy, where taxes are modest, earned $4m. If you work for Eisler and you introduce a new portfolio manager, you can top up your pay with an extra $200k.

And yet, as we've noted on various occasions Eisler's hiring is accompanied by exits and apparent firings. To some extent this is no different than the revolving doors at most multistrategy hedge funds, but Eisler people tend to be particularly vocal about their bugbears, which include technology and deputy CIO Sam Wisnia. 

One Eisler portfolio manager says Wisnia, who seemingly inspires either fierce loyalty or fierce resistance, doesn't suffer fools gladly and practices direct communication. Wisnia and Ed Eisler operate a good cop bad cop routine, he adds. 

As new people come through the door at Eisler, for whatever reason, existing people continue to dribble out. This year's exits have included Oliver Bristowe, a former Morgan Stanley rates trader who's gone to LMR in London, David Trudeau, the former head of operations who's gone to Faros Point Capital Management in London, and a quant strategist who's gone to Brevan Howard. Eisler Capital declined to comment. 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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