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Verition: the multistrategy hedge fund run by "really nice people"

If you're looking for a multistrategy hedge fund that's a) hiring and b) run by some good guys, then Verition Fund Management could be that place. For all Steve Cohen's repackaging as a great person who loves baseball, portfolio managers at Verition suggest it's their bosses who have the feel good factor.

"The founders are just really nice people and their culture spreads through the firm," says one of Verition's comparatively recent hires. "The culture of a place doesn't matter to everyone, but here it's obvious even during the interview process."

The really nice people at Verition are Nicholas Maounis, the CEO and Josh Goldstein, the COO.  "Josh is a good guy," agrees another insider, neglecting to mention Maounis, whom the website says has an 'active role in talent recruitment.' The two men founded Verition in 2008 - it's no spring chicken, but it is in the midst of some impressive headcount growth. During the pandemic, Verition hired 100 new people and quadrupled the size of its Park Avenue office; assets under management have gone from $1bn in 2019 to over $6bn, and it's opening a new office in Connecticut to help house all its new recruits. 

People are still coming through the doors. Last time we wrote about Verition in December 2022, it had just hired Sanjeevan Sivarajah, JPMorgan's former head of emerging markets special situations trading in London. Since then, it's ingested at least another 15 portfolio managers and analysts, both from banks and rival hedge funds. 

Verition's most significant recent hires include Paul Ashcroft, the former head of EMEA high yield trading at Bank of America, who quietly arrived in the London office in April after nearly 14 years with the bank. There's also Seth Morrison, a former macro trader with Morgan Stanley in London.

Like Morrison, many of the new hires are macro traders as Verition builds out its macro team. As well as hires from banks, recent recruits include people from rival multistrategy funds Balyasny (Sharon Leung Pliner, the new APAC COO), Millennium (Alireza Berry-Noubar in London), ExodusPoint (William Gaberlavage in NY) and Schonfeld (Richard J. Ciciarelli in Miami). 

Verition isn't the only multistrategy hedge fund hiring in 2023, but it is hiring a lot. Dan James, managing partner of search firm Monroe Partners says the sector as a whole remains very active: "Multistrats continue to grow and to raise capital. That capital needs to be deployed which translates into demand for best in market portfolio managers."

Spoiled for choice, would-be portfolio managers may want to give Verition's pleasant people a whirl. The niceness may be a new thing though: historic reviews on Glassdoor accuse variously accuse Verition of harshness, unfriendliness, secrecy and a toxic culture. Things have presumably evolved.

If the culture at Verition doesn't do it for you, sources claim the fund also has another factor on its side: it pays entirely in cash, with no deferrals.

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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