Schonfeld Makes First Asia Macro Hire, Seeks Regional Head

Schonfeld Strategic Advisors is hunting for an Asia-Pacific head for its discretionary macro and fixed income business, having made its first hires for this team in the region.

(Bloomberg) — Schonfeld Strategic Advisors is hunting for an Asia-Pacific head for its discretionary macro and fixed income business, having made its first hires for this team in the region. 

Neil Lee will start at the hedge fund firm in early October as a Singapore-based portfolio manager focused on interest rates and currencies, according to a person familiar with the matter. Schonfeld expects to hire more and have three Asia-based portfolio managers by early 2024, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. 

Lee was part of the team that spun out of Millennium Management in 2014 to form Symmetry Investments, known for its in relative value fixed-income trading. His former Symmetry colleague Borut Miklavcic is joining Schonfeld in London, said the person. 

Schonfeld has been making a big push into macro and fixed income trading, after hiring industry veterans Colin Lancaster and Mitesh Parikh to lead this business in 2021. The New York-based firm committed $5 billion in leveraged assets to the group, which began trading in January 2022, and it’s now running about $8 billion.

This part of the business now has about 60 investment professionals globally, with 20 hired this year, said the person. It made money in 17 out of its first 21 months, including in March when many of its peers were whipsawed by volatile bond markets. This area is expected to account for as much as 25% of the firm’s asset allocation over the coming years, the person added.

A spokesperson for Schonfeld, which oversees $13 billion of client money, declined to comment.

The Bloomberg Discretionary Macro Hedge Fund Index had a three-year winning streak until last year, when rising inflation prompted the Federal Reserve to end an era of loose monetary policy that began in the 2008 financial crisis. Volatility worsened with the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in March. 

Schonfeld’s macro traders had focused more on directional bets until last year. But as markets have become more unpredictable, the team has added more portfolio managers with experience in relative-value trading, a strategy that seeks to profit from temporary differences in the prices of related securities, such as bond and credit instruments.

The firm is also looking to build its expertise in Japan rates and currency trades, as the Bank of Japan moves away from yield curve control, said the person. China’s weakening economic data, meanwhile, is creating opportunities in currency and rates trading.

Other recent Schonfeld macro hires include Marc Tishfield, a 14-year Millennium veteran, who started this month in Stamford, Connecticut. Toby Kung, a former Macquarie trader, joined as London-based head of European credit. 

Ben Melkman, one of Schonfeld’s early macro hires, has also been expanding his team. New recruits include Matthew Feldmann from Verition Fund Management and Jerome Saragoussi, who was most recently at Eisler Capital. 

Brent Cook, another Eisler trader, joined Schonfeld in August in London. Goldman Sachs Group Ltd. trader Tomas Gaigalas is joining in New York as an associate portfolio manager.

(Updates to add latest leveraged loan assets in fourth paragraph.)

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