The BD Execs to Know at Top Hedge Funds, From Citadel to Millennium

Their success has also spawned an array of imitators.

Known as multimanager funds, or “pod shops,” because they diversify their bets across all manner of strategies with scores of trading teams, these trading behemoths have become a powerful industry force that manages billions of dollars on behalf of investors with a keen eye on managing risk.

According to Goldman Sachs, assets under management at multimanager hedge funds swelled from $170 billion to $370 billion between 2019 to mid-2023 alone. Headcount grew 80% to 18,100. 

This rapid growth has given rise to a behind-the-scenes professional responsible for recruiting and retaining talent for hedge funds: the business-development executive. Unlike business development in corporate America, which focuses on growing a company’s prospects with partners and clients, hedge fund BD teams specialize in scouting, evaluating, and wooing investment talent.

And their jobs — growing the business by luring in revenue-generating traders — have become increasingly important as hedge funds duke it out over a limited supply of elite talent. It’s resulting in a talent skirmish of its own: Top hedge funds are spending millions to lure the best “biz dev” specialists.

As one hedge-fund exec put it: “Once these firms keep raising assets, they need more PMs. How do you get more PMs? Hire more BD people.” 

Aside from entertaining and charming candidates, BD job duties can include mapping the universe of traders involved in a strategy; vetting a trader’s performance and reputation; projecting annual trading performance and when a new hire might break even for the fund; interviewing and constructing offers; onboarding PMs and analysts; and marshaling resources for their pods. 

While most still work with external headhunters, BDs are more attuned to their CIO’s needs, preferences, and idiosyncrasies and, thus, potentially better at screening a candidate and describing the realities of working at the fund. 

“A recruiter gets a person in the door and never has to think about it again. For us, we live with that hire,” one BD exec said. 

In an effort to shine a light on this under-the-radar profession and its importance to the rise of the multistrategy, multimanager hedge fund, Business Insider has assembled a list of the key BD leaders and execs at the industry’s largest and fastest-growing pod shops. This isn’t an exhaustive list — there are more than 50 multimanagers, according to Goldman Sachs, with more entering the fray — but it represents many of the the largest and most active BD units in this growing realm. 

We’ve aimed to identify notable BD leaders — not entire team rosters — at these firms and how their teams are organized. While the investment format these firms deploy is similar, no two firms’ BD strategies are exactly alike.

Firms declined to comment or did not respond to comment requests unless otherwise noted.

This list is alphabetical by firm name. We may update it periodically as new information becomes available.

Balyasny Asset Management

Dmitry Balyasny, CEO and Managing Partner at Balyasny Asset Management L.P, looking out as he speaks during the Skybridge Capital SALT New York 2021 conference in New York.

Dmitry Balyasny, founder of Balyasny Asset Management.

Brendan McDermid/ Reuters

  • $20+ billion AUM
  • 165+ investment teams and 1,900+ employees 

One of the most valuable assets for a BD professional is longevity. While technical knowledge, sales charm, and hustle all matter, recruiting top PMs comes down to relationships and waiting for a catalyst, both of which can take years to develop. 

Few have been involved in hedge fund BD longer than Jennifer Blake, Balyasny’s global head. Coming from prime brokerage sales at Morgan Stanley, she joined Dmitry Balyasny’s fund in 2008 as a one-person team recruiting long-short equities PMs. Balyasny grew to as much as $13 billion in assets in 2017 before a dreadful run of performance saw assets halved and headcount chopped after 2018. But performance and investor capital quickly rebounded. The fund now has 165 investment teams and 1,900 employees, including a 32-person BD team run by Blake. 

Balyasny targets top-tier PMs who can handle multibillion-dollar trading books, but it’s also scouting for up-and-coming talent with the potential to reach that level someday. The fund’s BD department remains in close contact with PMs after they join as a resource and advisor.

Asia has been a recent expansion focus. In 2023, the firm doubled headcount in the region, whose BD efforts are overseen by Federico Chavarria. Balyasny is also working to expand its systematic trading operation, hiring Dave Matz, a quant headhunter at search firm Smith Hanley, earlier this year. 

Top BD execs at Balyasny include:

BlueCrest Capital

  • ~600 employees and 170 investment teams

BlueCrest is not like the rest of the firms on this list in one glaring way — it does not manage outside money. Founder Michael Platt, who once oversaw more than $35 billion, swore off investor capital in 2015, which freed him up to take more risk, and he’s been on an incredible run of returns since.

Still, BlueCrest competes head-to-head with the multimanager hedge funds both in the markets it trades and the investment talent it chases. While total assets can be hard to ascertain, court documents show the firm, in 2022, was working with nearly $4 billion in capital, which it leveraged up to $15 billion for its traders to invest.

The exec handling recruitment, diligence, and allocation of BlueCrest’s investment force is among the most respected in the business, according to headhunters and other BD professionals. Michael Grad, global head of BD, joined the firm in 2017 from Millennium, where he worked for 9 years, also in BD. Before that, he worked for a fund-of-fund within UBS in manager due diligence and allocation. A hedge fund source familiar with Grad said he comes across almost like a used-car salesman, with a host of recurring quips and sayings, but that he’s nonetheless one of the best in the business — tenacious, knowledgeable, and ultimately superb at getting deals with PMs over the line. 

“He’s a natural closer — a really tough negotiator. And he really knows his stuff,” this person said. “He’s like a cartoon character, but he’s really good.” 

BlueCrest, in February, promoted two BD leaders beneath Grad — Jake Lindsay as head of US and Mungo Strachan as head of Europe. 

The BD team has been busy of late. It added some 20 teams in the latter half of 2023 and is expecting to add another 30 PMs in 2024 across an array of strategies, according to a recent report from the Financial Times. 

BlueCrest’s BD leaders are:

Brevan Howard

Alan Howard

Brevan Howard co-founder and billionaire Alan Howard has changed roles to focus more on trades.

Ringo Chiu/ZumaPresses

  • $35+ billion in AUM
  • 160+ PMs and 1,100+ employees

After the decade Brevan Howard has had, Six Flags should name a ride in its honor. Alan Howard’s fund hit $40 billion in AUM in 2013, then plunged to almost $6 billion by 2018. Since then, it’s nearly recovered back to its high mark, more than doubling in the last three years. 

The fund’s industriousness under CEO Aron Landy, who was promoted to the top role 2019, has been hard to miss. Known for its macro-trading, Brevan has, in recent years, expanded into credit, systematic trading, commodities, and crypto businesses. The fund has been charging into the Middle East as well, opening an Abu Dhabi office last year that now employs 80 people and wields some $10 billion in assets. It’s been a driving force in the multimanager talent war, growing its PM count from 30 when Landy took over to more than 200 in 2023.

Behind the scenes, facilitating the expansion, was the Brevan Howard BD team. The fund in 2020 hired Peter Hornick, one of the industry’s most experienced BD executives, to oversee the talent ramp-up. David Abbou joined from BlueCrest in Europe and Jonathan Candy from Graticule in Asia around the same time. Gregoire Vidal was hired a year later from ExodusPoint to focus specifically on the systematic buildout. (In 2022, Vidal was promoted to global head of systematic strategies.) Tim Williams, now the head of BD for core trading in the US and Europe, joined in 2019, the same year as Landy’s promotion. 

Last September, amid a run of poor performance, Brevan decided to shake up its BD operation. The restructuring saw the exit of Hornick and the elimination of an independent BD unit. Now, the trading strategy heads oversee their own BD efforts, and the firm’s PM scouts are embedded within those units. 

Losses in 2023 and the first quarter of 2024 have led to layoffs, reducing its trader headcount to fewer than 170. 

Key leaders overseeing BD at Brevan Howard include:


Ken Griffin

Citadel founder Ken Griffin has spoken out against remote working.

Vernon Yuen/Getty Images

  • $61 billion AUM
  • 2,200+ employees

Ken Griffin’s Citadel has outperformed not just its immediate rivals but every other hedge fund. The most profitable fund in history mirrors Millennium in size and a propensity for higher turnover, but its investment culture is distinct. It’s rigorous and demanding, and it’s more centralized than some peers, with PMs embedded into the Citadel fabric and sharing tools, data, and other resources. 

Citadel pays top dollar, but that can come with less autonomy than some rivals and also some of the industry’s lengthiest and most stringent non-competition clauses. 

Griffin has acknowledged the edge provided by Citadel’s elite roster of investment talent, bragging in his most recent annual letter that the fund’s “ability to recruit experienced professionals to Citadel is unparalleled.” Indeed, Citadel’s business-development army is considered best in class, and few names in the BD realm carry more gravitas than Matt Giannini. Giannini, 44, joined Citadel in 2007 after a stint in financial services recruiting at an agency before decamping in 2012 for Chicago rival Balyasny. Even at the much smaller fund, “he was making a difference in the market and getting people,” a senior headhunter recalled. Citadel poached him back in 2018 — a move that ratcheted up tensions between the funds — and made him head of business development for its equities operations. 

“Matt is, if not the best, one of the best closers I’ve ever met,” another BD professional said.

Citadel’s unrivaled performance has made its talent whisperers hot commodities. Two senior Citadel BD leaders recently left to take top jobs at other multistrat funds — Thomas DeAngelis at Walleye Capital and Lindsay Previdi at Freestone Grove, a 2024 launch from former Citadel execs.

Senior BD execs at Citadel include:

Eisler Capital

  • $4.2 billion
  • ~100 PMs and 300 employees

Eisler, run by ex-Goldman Sachs partners Edward Eisler, Sam Wisnia, and Chris Milner, is one of the newer faces on the multimanager scene and among the most active hirers.

The firm — which manages $4.2 billion and is expecting to add another $1 billion this year as well as a couple dozen PMs — started out in 2015 as a single-manager macro fund, but by 2022 had transitioned to a full-fledged multistrategy pod shop. Headcount at Eisler increased from about 60 in 2020 to over 300 in 2024.

Milner views hedge fund growth like a three-legged stool, he said in a December interview: capital, talent, and infrastructure. You can’t let any one of them “run too far ahead of the others,” lest the stool become unstable. 

In 2022, the fund raised $2 billion from investors. It brought in reinforcements for the talent side that year, building out a BD unit. The team of six is led by Hilary Curran in New York, a former Deutsche Bank derivatives rates trader. The group, primarily former sell-side sales and trading professionals, reports to COO Chris Milner and handles sourcing, screening, and onboarding investment talent. 

The BD screening function is important for finding people who fit Eisler’s culture, which is described as collaborative with close contact from the C-suite. As Milner said in December, some people “genuinely want the hands-on mentorship, guidance, sounding board,” but it’s not for everyone.

The Eisler BD team is led by: 

ExodusPoint Capital

ExodusPoint logo imagery

ExodusPoint; Rebecca Zisser/Business Insider

  • $12+ billion AUM
  • 650 employees

ExodusPoint’s growth ahead of its launch was faster than most funds in their lifetime. The fund amassed a record-setting $8.5 billion by the time it started trading in the summer of 2018, hiring 100 people and 50 portfolio managers in its first year, interviewing candidates while wires still hung from the ceiling. 

That rapid buildout required expertise, and founder Michael Gelband, upon his abrupt exit from Millennium, brought with him one of the industry’s top investment recruiters: Peter Hornick, then Millennium’s global head of business development. Gregoire Vidal joined from Schonfeld ahead of the launch to source systematic investment talent.

The tenure of the original BD team was short-lived, as it was for many of the firm’s initial leaders. Hornick was let go in 2019 and landed at Brevan Howard. Vidal followed him there not long after. 

Jeff Gelband, son of the firm’s founder, joined from a hedge-fund recruiting firm in 2019 and became COO of recruiting. Now head of human capital, he’s no longer involved in recruiting investment talent, according to a person familiar with the matter.

As the firm grew, it expanded its BD team, reaching 15 in 2022 after several senior hires — though two of them, Mike Tiano and Eric Han, have since left for rivals. ExodusPoint assets, once almost $14 billion, fell in both 2022 and 2023 amid mediocre returns.

The BD team, which reports to president and COO Garrett Berg, is now led by: 

LMR Partners

  • ~$11 billion AUM
  • 250 employees

LMR Partners keeps a low profile. Founded in 2009 by UBS traders Ben Levine and Stefan Renold, the fund managed $5 billion by 2019, with offices in New York and Hong Kong in addition to its London HQ. 

LMR has more than doubled in size since, with offices in Zurich, Glasgow, and Dubai, an increasingly popular destination for hedge funds. The firm, which employs about 250 people, had only one down year — losing 6% in 2020 after volatility trades backfired at the onset of the pandemic. 

Marcus Fairhurst, a longtime recruiter at Dore Partnership, joined in 2018 and runs BD globally from the UK. Eric Han joined last year to run BD in the US. He’d previously worked at investment firms, including Soros and Citadel, before joining ExodusPoint’s short-lived WestWind equities unit in 2022.

LMR’s BD leaders are: 


Millennium Management

Israel Englander headshot

Izzy Englander’s Millennium Management is known for quickly cutting loose underperformers.

Ronda Churchill/Bloomberg via Getty Images

  • $64+ billion AUM
  • 320+ investment teams and 5,600+ employees

Izzy Englander’s firm has one of the largest units responsible for recruiting and vetting investment talent, a roughly 50-person global business development team. And with good reason. The firm houses more than 320 investment teams and is known for quickly cutting loose underperformers, requiring a steady pipeline of portfolio managers. And those PMs — who operate with great autonomy, like small businesses under the Millennium umbrella — need staffing of their own. 

That makes BD at Millennium a singular experience, akin to recruiting for an ever-changing array of a few hundred mini-hedge funds. Though, as with most hedge funds, Millennium outsources some of the work to a large roster of external recruiting firms. 

Within Millennium’s BD group, Paritosh Singh’s name looms large. He runs a team of about 20 as head of business development in the Americas, the largest region of the largest player in this space. Singh, who has a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and joined the fund in 2008 from Guggenheim, is considered among the most powerful in BD, with a prodigious network and a sophisticated grasp of strategies and risk. 

“He’s much more sophisticated than a recruiter. He understands markets and risk and managing portfolios,” a senior headhunter said of Singh, who works closely with Chief Trading Officer Mark Meskin and co-CIO Justin Gmelich in hiring new portfolio managers, as do Singh’s counterparts Steve Keller, head of Europe, and Benjamin Williams, head of Asia. 

Millennium can offer the highest pay packages and guarantees on the street. It’s also known for getting creative with its inducements, such as opening new locations to help woo a PM. Industry insiders say it opened its Dubai office in part to help land PM Pratik Madhvani, who runs an index rebalance-focused pod. 

BD professionals at Millennium, who sometimes carry the title “senior investment officer,” have gone on to run teams at other funds, including Michael Grad at BlueCrest, and Peter Hornick of ExodusPoint and Brevan Howard.

Key BD execs at MLP include:


Point72 Asset Management

steve cohen hedge funds 2x1

Steven Cohen of Point72, where macro has been a growth area in recent years.

Point72; Shayanne Gal/Insider

  • $33.9 billion in AUM
  • 185+ investment teams and 2,800+ employees

Steve Cohen’s investing behemoth has come a long way since its rebirth as Point72 in 2014. The fund, formerly SAC Capital, began managing outside money again in 2018 (following an SEC ban tied to a former trader’s insider trading conviction), and investors lined up in droves. SAC once managed $15 billion; Point72 now invests more than double that with the help of more than 185 investment teams and 2,800 employees.

“The sheer volume that a BD effort needs to process has increased,” said Harry Schwefel, Point72’s co-CIO and an employee since 2008. 

Chandler Bocklage, a former SAC portfolio manager and longtime deputy to Steve Cohen, took over as head of the fundamental equities BD team last year after JT Shields departed to help launch hedge fund Benchstone Capital. Bocklage’s group of more than 20 is a mix of recruiters, salespeople, allocators, and ex-PMs. With that range of expertise, not everyone needs to excel at each facet of the job; some may lean into sourcing and relationships, while others focus on vetting, due diligence, or the nuts and bolts of deal structuring. They also seek to maintain a relationship with the investment talent they recruit.

“Our BD team is not a salesforce that advertises a product that then disappears. They’re more involved than that,” Schwefel said.

In addition to competing for top free agents, the fund boasts perhaps the most robust farm system for cultivating young investors. It started LaunchPoint, an emerging PM incubator geared toward senior analysts, in 2012 and also runs the Point72 Academy, a 10-month boot camp for college graduates looking to become investment analysts.

Alyssa Friedman — who started at the fund as an executive assistant in 2009 — oversees business development for Cubist, the firm’s systematic trading operation, as well as its global macro trading business. Macro has been a top growth area at Point72 in recent years, with investment teams growing from about 10 three years ago to more than 50 in 2024. The firm added two macro BD leaders in 2022. 

Notable BD leaders at Point72 include:


Schonfeld Strategic Advisors

Steven Schonfeld, Ryan Tolkin, Andrew Fishman

Steven Schonfeld and his senior management continue to grow their team.

Michael Nagle/Getty

  • ~$10 billion AUM
  • 950 employees

Schonfeld, unlike most of its peers, got substantially smaller in 2023.  

Once a family office known for day traders and systematic investing, Steve Schonfeld’s firm opened up to outside money in 2016. It had about $6 billion by 2021, the year its buildout exploded under CEO Ryan Tolkin. The fund got into macro and fixed-income trading, headcount swelled, and assets blew past $14 billion in 2022.

But its expenses soared along with its size, and then performance stalled — a dangerous combination. Schonfeld started pruning costs in early 2023, investors began redeeming capital, and by the fall, it was hunting for $3 billion in fresh capital from investors, even entertaining a potential deal with rival Millennium. It ended up cutting 15% of staff, around 150 people, in November. It’s now managing around $10 billion in assets, but performance has stormed back since the fund slimmed down, leading the multistrat pack in 2024.

While recruiters for non-investment roles were laid off or left, business development was largely spared underscoring the value of attracting investment personnel in the current hypercompetitive talent market.

Schonfeld hired 40 investment professionals between October and April, according to a person familiar with the matter. But, the BD team at Schonfeld team doesn’t just bring PMs through the door. They help onboard and secure resources for PMs, almost like a “customer service” or concierge role, as one source described it. That’s all consistent with Schonfeld’s image as more patient and accommodating with PMs than some of its rivals.

The BD leaders at Schonfeld work closely with the fund’s strategy heads. Akshay Aggarwal, head of systematic BD and Americas BD, reports to Alex Burns, who spent a decade doing quant BD at Schonfeld before being promoted to global head of systematic strategies in 2021. Mike Tiano, a quant expert with a Ph.D. in applied math and statistics who joined from ExodusPoint, is another senior BD in quant. Ryan McCort leads BD for discretionary macro and fixed-income — a group that was added in 2021 — reporting to unit heads Colin Lancaster and Mitesh Parikh. In fundamental equities trading, which is run by regional strategy heads, Sameer Buch runs BD in Europe, and Brittany Lynch, BD head in the US, left in November to join startup Freestone Grove.

Senior BD personnel at Schonfeld include: 

Verition Fund Management

Verition hedge fund logo


  • $9.8 billion AUM
  • 500 employees

Verition opened back up to new investor capital in late 2021, when it was managing $4.2 billion and coming off a record 30% gain from 2020. The catch, an increasingly common one among multistrats, is that investors had to agree to a multiyear cash lockup. 

Less than three years later, the firm, founded in 2008 by Nicholas Maounis and Josh Goldstein, has more than doubled in size. And while it hasn’t hit double-digit returns since 2020, the fund has also never had a down year. 

Verition is different from peers in a couple of key ways. It trades most of the same major strategies but finds more esoteric bets within those strategies, such as financial transmission rights. The fund tends to have a high ratio of PMs to capital, making lots of smaller bets rather than swinging for the fences. 

The man in charge of filling that unique and growing stable of investment talent since 2018 has been Brian Townes, head of business development. Townes led the hedge-fund business at recruiting firm DMC Partners for two years prior to joining Verition, and before that, he sourced and vetted fund managers for Topwater Capital. He has brought aboard four managing directors since 2021 to help manage the growth, according to LinkedIn.

In another bid to lure talent and facilitate the fund’s quick expansion, Verition is opening a new office in London and last year expanded to Dubai.  

The senior BD professionals at Verition include: 

Walleye Capital

Walleye Capital Logo

Walleye Capital

  • $5.7 billion
  • 350 employees

Like other funds on this list, Walleye didn’t start out as a multimanager. It was founded in 2005 as an options and volatility proprietary trading outfit in Minnesota, and it only started managing outside capital in 2017. 

Assets and headcount ballooned as the firm, now headquartered in New York, expanded into fundamental equities, quant, macro, and, more recently, commodities strategies. Its roughly 350 employees now span across 10 offices, including outposts in London and Dubai. 

The fund last fall decided to reevaluate all of its business lines amid a multimanager backlash and sluggish returns. CEO and CIO Will England hired Thomas DeAngelis from Citadel to oversee the mission, giving him oversight over hiring as well as a mandate to reimagine the senior ranks.

DeAngelis was given no hiring quota — a common mandate in BD — and was only asked to treat the firm’s resources with discernment, according to Jonathan Brenner, global head of marketing and IR. 

DeAngelis hasn’t been shy about shaking things up. Walleye has overhauled its C-suite, replacing its heads of treasury, compliance, and legal. The firm’s head of volatility and chief technology officer, partners who’d each been with the firm for nearly two decades, announced their retirements this month. 

The firm has exited trades where Walleye lacked a distinct advantage and doubled down on strategies core to the fund’s DNA, like volatility trading. Walleye has hired roughly 60 people so far this year, including support staff to aid its existing PMs. But it also cut 12 people in March, including the head of its discretionary macro operation and its head of EMEA, where growth outpaced returns, according to a person familiar with the matter. Returns in the first quarter of 2024 have bounced back toward the top of the multimanager peer group. 

DeAngelis had a circuitous path to the multimanager C-suite. His Wall Street career started at Lehman Brothers in 2003; he left in 2008 for an investor relations job at Balyasny, then just a minnow in the hedge fund world. He left Balyasny in 2017 and held senior positions at Hutchin Hill Capital and the hedge fund division of Putnam Investments before transitioning to BD full time at Citadel in 2019. 

Since joining Walleye, he’s added to his team, bringing in Maureen Reed, who worked in BD at Citadel for seven years and more recently served as global head of experienced hire recruiting at Goldman Sachs, and John Sullivan, who worked in fundamental equities BD at Schonfeld.

Walleye’s ambition, according to Brenner, is not to become the next Citadel, Millennium, and Point72, but to become the best midsize multimanager in the industry, growing to at most the $10 billion in assets range.

Walleye’s BD leaders: 

Nguồn: Business Insider.

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