Poker-Playing JPMorgan VIX Trader Jeremy Wien to Join Och-Ziff

May 02, 2014 12:00 am ET

May 2 (Bloomberg) -- Jeremy Wien, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s head VIX trader and a competitive poker player, is joining hedge fund Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC.

Wien, 29, will trade equity-index derivatives at New York- based Och-Ziff, he said yesterday in an e-mail to clients and co-workers. He joined JPMorgan, the biggest U.S. bank, in 2012 to trade options and futures on the VIX, as the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index is known. In his e-mail, Wien thanked JPMorgan colleagues for the two-year experience.

“I also appreciate greatly all of your advice and encouragement regarding the best ways to lose a few pounds as well as to improve my fashion sense,” Wien wrote. “Rest assured that while I haven’t necessarily heeded any of that advice to date, I assure you that I will at some point.”

Jonathan Gasthalter, a spokesman for Och-Ziff, and Brian Marchiony of New York-based JPMorgan declined to comment on Wien’s move.

The VIX is also known as the “fear index” because it’s a measure of volatility in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. It moves in the opposite direction of the benchmark about 80 percent of the time, and has gained popularity in recent years as a way to hedge equity investments.

Poker List

A regular participant in the World Series of Poker held in Las Vegas, Wien advanced to Day 3 for four straight years through 2012. Last year, he exited after the first day. He was named to Business Insider’s list of Wall Street’s best poker players in 2012.

Wien, who has a bachelor’s degree in finance from Georgetown University in Washington, was head of VIX options trading at Peak6 Capital Management LP in Chicago before leaving in 2011. He started his Wall Street career at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in 2006 and also worked at New York-based hedge fund Alphabet Management LLC.

Options are derivatives that give the right to buy or sell assets at a set price by a specific date. The VIX measures the cost of using options as insurance against declines in the S&P 500, the benchmark measure of American equities.

--With assistance from Nikolaj Gammeltoft and Callie Bost in New York.