Balyasny Asset Management bans the hiring of the Citadelle unit

Balyasny Asset Management has said it can no longer hire from the global bond business of hedge fund Citadel, a rare stop among rivals who often poach each other’s talents.

The investment firm told headhunters this month not to recommend potential Citadel unit staff, according to a memo seen by Bloomberg. The ban extends to anyone who works there or supports the company, as well as those who worked for the unit after May 15 but have since left.

“Until further notice, we can no longer solicit or hire anyone from Citadel’s Global Fixed Income business,” Balyasny said in the note. The ban includes employees who worked for the unit as of January 1, 2019, but now work for another division of the company.

Balyasny provided no reason for his decision. A representative from Balyasny declined to comment, while another from Citadel – founded by billionaire Ken Griffin – did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

The move cuts Balyasny from a fertile hunting ground for traders at a time when the hedge fund talent war has reached feverish heights. Multi-strategy investment firms, such as Balyasny and Citadel, rely on dozens of teams of traders to bet on all asset classes and regularly hire to expand into new areas or strengthen their expertise.

Talent has already become a flashpoint for disputes between hedge funds. In 2018, Schonfeld Strategic Advisors filed a lawsuit against its former head of human capital and ExodusPoint Capital Management, seeking to ban them from using confidential information to solicit and hire its employees.

A growing number of traders are abandoning their plans to start their own hedge funds and instead choose to join the existing multi-manager platforms that pay the most money to hire and keep them. Schonfeld is one of the companies offering incentives to attract talent, with a sharp reduction in profits as part of his foray into macro trading.

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