One of the consequences of the Credit Crunch of 2008/9 was a scaling back by hedge fund managers – they cut their gross, they restricted redemptions, and, in managing their companies through a traumatic period for the industry, the larger managers often reduced headcount or closed their offices in Asia and London. When there were strategic cost saving measures made post-2008 it was more likely that the Asian outpost of a US hedge fund group would be scaled back rather than the London office. Often there was a pause in hiring in Europe – as seen in the time-series of the number of Approved Persons* registered with the UK’s FSA for Davidson Kempner European Partners and Moore Europe, graphics 1 and 2 below.
Less typical in management of headcount of the US firms with London offices was Steve Cohen’s SAC, which had operated in London since the turn of the century through Walter Capital Management. SAC scaled back the investment, compliance and senior management staff in its London operations (renamed S.A.C. Global Investors) by about a third in 2008/9, as graphic 3 below shows. As events unfolded and financial markets returned to something more like normal in the years after the Credit Crunch, SAC increased its headcount in London, just as it did in its Connecticut headquarters. The expansion phase post-Credit Crunch at SAC in London included the re-hiring of some traders let go less than a year previously.