CNBC/ Heidi Gutman
- Eric Felder, the head of Citadel’s Aptigon and global credit units, left the Chicago-based hedge fund on Thursday, sources tell Business Insider
- Citadel will close its stock-picking Aptigon unit, but a vast majority of the equity teams under Felder will be re-assigned to one of the three remaining stock-picking units, while the global credit team will report to founder Ken Griffin on an interim basis.
- Stock-picking funds have started the year hot, but investors have still pulled billions as quants and passive products have given asset allocators a different way to be exposed to equities.
Ken Griffin’s three-year-old Aptigon stock-picking unit closed Thursday, as the head of the unit, Eric Felder, left the $28 billion firm, sources tell Business Insider.
Felder also ran the global credit team, which did not manage its own fund but a sleeve inside of the flagship Wellington multi-strategy fund. The PMs and analysts in the global credit unit will report to Griffin on an interim basis, while a majority of Aptigon’s teams will be reassigned to one of the three remaining stock-picking teams at Citadel: Surveyor Capital, Citadel Global Equities, and Ashler Capital.
The news of the closure was first reported by Bloomberg.
Felder joined Citadel less than 2 years ago from Magnetar Capital, where he was the head of fundamental strategies, according to a press release from Citadel at the time. Prior to his stint at Magnetar, Felder worked at Barclays as head of global markets.
Aptigon reportedly cut a third of its staff less than a year ago, totaling 49 people.
Surveyor Capital lost one of its top stock-pickers, Jack Woodruff, at the start of this year as he peeled off to start his own fund, which Griffin is an investor in. The unit also fired portfolio manager Adam Wolfman and his team in December. In total, Surveyor has around 30 portfolio managers.
Citadel’s performance for the year has been solid, with the flagship Wellington fund returning 4.55% through the end of February, sources say. Last year, when the average hedge fund declined, Wellington returned more than 9%.
Stock-picking has been falling out of favor with investors, however. Managers like Jana Partners and BlueMountain Capital Management have cut long-short strategies this year, Carlson Capital’s stock-picking fund has been bleeding assets, and investors have pulled billions from the space.
Shayanne Gal/Business Insider
- Hedge-fund investors have moved toward ‘ultra customization,’ and it’s changing how funds raise money
- Anthony Scaramucci’s Las Vegas hedge-fund conference is trying to change things up as the industry faces headwinds
- Carlson Capital is bleeding assets in its stock-picking fund following the departure of one of its portfolio managers