By Hedge Fund Insight staff
Recent analysis of EM hedge fund staff registered with the UK’s financial regulator, the FCA, shows some clear winners. Staff are a lagging indicator not a leading indicator, reflecting confidence of management of a hedge fund firm that things have gone well enough that the firm can afford to add to its’ cost base.
The “winners” as such are Guillaume Fonkenell’s Pharo Management, and Paul Crean’s Finisterre Capital. Sloane Robinson, one of the Daddies of Emerging Market fund management, is also noteworthy for having added staff gradually in the last few years – APs have gone from 15 in September of 2015 to the current level of 21. Sloane Robinson runs developed market mandates as well as pools of capital dedicated to emerging markets.
The firms for which data is shown are not necessarily in a tight style group for investment process or even market or asset class footprint (Insparo is in frontier markets, Finisterre invests in bonds as well as stocks), but all take significant EM exposure. Ashmore is a long-only manager and Listed to boot, which brings headcount pressure by itself.
The analysis was undertaken through time series taken from the market low of March 2008 of Approved Persons (APs). APs are those registered with the Financial Conduct Authority to carry out regulated activities – all partners in a partnership and those carrying out specific duties, such as CFO, CEO, senior operations staff, compliance officers, and traders and portfolio managers. Staff not registered at the FCA can nearly equal in number those registered with the UK’s financial regulator where firms have local middle and back office operations, a marketing presence in Europe and/or risk management and technology staff.