Home Hedge Funds Hedge Fund Verition Adds Yen Rates Trader Amid Hiring Blitz

Hedge Fund Verition Adds Yen Rates Trader Amid Hiring Blitz

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(Bloomberg) — Verition Fund Management LLC has hired Citigroup Inc.’s Shin Kobayashi as a portfolio manager focused on yen rates trading, as the $9.9 billion multi-strategy hedge fund firm expands in Asia, said people with knowledge of the matter.

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Kobayashi will join a Singapore-based investment pod that includes Patrick Bonifant, a former Morgan Stanley managing director who started last year as a portfolio manager trading rates of G-10 nations, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information.

A Hong Kong-based Verition executive declined to comment, as did a spokesperson for Citigroup in Tokyo. Kobayashi, who was head of Japanese government bond trading at Citigroup, couldn’t be reached.

Hedge funds are snapping up yen rates specialists as the Bank of Japan’s scrapping of negative interest rates and bond yield-curve control helps to revive trading opportunities. More than a dozen have left global banks in the past 18 months to join investment firms offering the prospect of higher pay, Bloomberg reported last month.

Among other recent moves, Alphadyne Asset Management has hired Kakyo Okina, previously a Japanese government bond trader at Mizuho Securities Co., according to people familiar with the matter.

Founded in 2008, Verition is among firms that allocate money to various teams employing a range of trading strategies. Investors have gravitated toward such multi-manager hedge funds in recent years, instead of parceling out capital separately to different funds.

Fifty-five of these so-called pod shops nearly tripled assets in the six years through 2023, according to a September report by Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s prime brokerage team.

Verition has hired for about 15 investment pods in Asia, after gaining its initial foothold in Singapore in 2021. It now has nearly 50 employees about equally split between Singapore and Hong Kong, with the headcount likely to expand by at least another 20% by year-end, the person said.

Among Verition’s other recent recruits:

  • Hao Long, a former New York-based Asia equity capital markets head at Citadel’s Surveyor Capital unit, joined earlier this year in Singapore as an Asia equity capital markets portfolio manager

  • Yasutaka Kuga started as a Japan event-driven portfolio manager in Hong Kong in December, after earlier working at Schonfeld Strategic Advisors

  • John Asher, previously with Millennium Management, was recruited as an equity volatility portfolio manager, according to regulatory data and one of the people

(Updates with Alphadyne hire in the fifth paragraph)

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