Schonfeld Backs Three SAC Traders as BlueCrest Said to Hire Two

Feb 07, 2014 3:01 am ET

Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Schonfeld Group Holdings LLC is backing three former SAC Capital Advisors LP money managers in London, and BlueCrest Capital Management LLP hired two U.S. employees from the hedge-fund firm that is becoming a family office after settling an insider-trading investigation.

Sam Elsokari, Tony Eccles and Liam Pagliaro have each received financing from New York-based family office Schonfeld to invest in stocks, which could allow the traders to raise money from other investors if they are successful, President Andrew Fishman said in an interview today. BlueCrest, a London- based hedge-fund firm, hired Andrew Schiffrin and Ian Kessler in the past month, said two people with knowledge of the hires who asked not to be identified because the firm is private.

SAC, based in Stamford, Connecticut, decided in October to close its London office to scale back amid an insider-trading probe by U.S. prosecutors. Schiffrin and Kessler are among U.S. employees who’ve left SAC since the firm agreed in November to close its hedge funds to outside investors and pay $1.8 billion to resolve charges that it profited from illegal tips about companies.

“We look for opportunities wherever they are,” said Fishman at Schonfeld, a family office that has used its own capital to back about 35 money managers since 2007. “Obviously, SAC’s downsizing in London was a unique one because you had a lot of experienced managers there.”

He declined to comment on how much money the SAC traders received from Schonfeld. Elsokari declined to comment, while contact information for Eccles and Pagliaro couldn’t be located.

Elsokari, Eccles

Elsokari, 36, joined SAC in 2009 from UBS O’Connor LLC, the Zurich-based bank’s hedge fund unit, according to his registration with the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority. He traded financial stocks at SAC. Eccles, 40, who invests in the shares of commodity companies, started at SAC in 2011 after leaving Ken Griffin’s Citadel LLC, regulatory records show. Pagliaro, 43, who was previously head of equity research at Gartmore Group Ltd., joined SAC in 2012, according to FCA records.

Since SAC decided to shut the London office, its U.K. money managers and analysts have accepted jobs at firms including BlueCrest, which has already added at least five former SAC employees since September. Former SAC managers have also landed jobs at Moore Capital Management LLP, Balyasny Asset Management LP and Carmignac Gestion SA.

Schiffrin, who trades industrial stocks, resigned from SAC’s CR Intrinsic unit on Jan. 6, Bloomberg News reported last month. Kessler worked for Sigma Capital, another SAC unit.

BlueCrest spokesman Ed Orlebar declined to comment on Schiffrin and Kessler, as did SAC spokesman Jonathan Gasthalter.

Schonfeld hired Adin Kahn from Israel Englander’s Millennium Management LLC in December 2012 to expand its business and recruit traders from hedge funds.

“There have been lots of opportunities set in motion from the financial crisis and obviously the insider-trading scandal,” Fishman said. “We’re actively looking for experienced portfolio managers wherever they are.”

--Editors: Sree Vidya Bhaktavatsalam, Christian Baumgaertel