The brain drain from SAC capital continues, as seven former portfolio managers and two analysts from the London SAC office joined Moore Capital, one of the largest hedge funds in the world, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

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High profile defections

Moore Capital, operated by Louis Bacon, hired portfolio managers Nicholas Aldridge, Israa Al Bayaa, Arjun Menon, Alexi Papaconstantinou, Bramen Singanayagam, Martin Stapleton and Louis Villa and analysts Atallah Estephan and Rahil Kuchiera.

A number of high profile defections from the hedge fund have followed legal troubles of the fund.  The Moore Capital drain from SAC comes after Balyasny Asset Management recently crowed in its investor letter that it was bringing aboard some of SAC’s talent, first reported in ValueWalk. Balyasny, managing $4 billion in assets, brought aboard Massimo Amati, Stanislas de Caumont and Robert Harris.  Other staffers had fled to French asset manager Carmignac Gestion.

SAC faced the loss of investors

In June, just before SAC’s legal problems emerged, SAC faced the loss of investors, including The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX), SocGen’s Lyxor Asset Management, Titan Advisors, Ironwood Capital and Magnitude Capital announcing they were reducing exposure to the firm, as reportedin ValueWalk last June. 

After claiming move to family office “baseless,” firm moves to family office structure

SAC Capital was at one point considered among the elite of hedge fund managers, with $14 billion in assets under management.  This was until July 2013, when a grand jury charged SAC with wire fraud and four counts of securities fraud in an insider trading case.  In November 2013 the firm agreed to plead guilty, stop managing outside capital and pay a $1.2 billion fine.  The firm’s high-flying founder, Steven Cohen, was later charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission claiming he overlooked the insider trading activity. Cohen cut a dashing figure around New York City and in Greenwich, CT and was known as a renowned art collector.  After being handed down a fine from the SEC, Cohen made a very public purchase of art and ultimately decided to migrate the firm from a hedge fund to a family office structure.   As early as June 2013 SAC was saying that reported plans for the fund to become a family office were baseless.

Cohen, among the richest men in the world with an estimated worth of $9.3 billion, founded SAC Capital Partners with $20 million of his own capital after working a profitable stink at Gruntal and company. Cohen’s strategy time horizon has known to change over time.  Initially he held a position for a short period of time but as of late has engaged in longer duration trades.