October 12, 2018 / 7:26 PM / a month ago

Englander's Millennium hires portfolio manager from Citadel: sources

BOSTON (Reuters) - Millennium Management, the $36 billion hedge fund run by Israel Englander, has hired a portfolio manager from rival Ken Griffin’s Citadel, two people familiar with the situation said on Friday.

Neel Parekh is moving to Millennium where he will be an equity portfolio manager, said the sources, who are not authorized to speak publicly about the private fund’s hirings.

Parekh traces his roots to legendary stock picker Julian Robertson. He moved to Citadel’s Aptigon stock unit in 2017 after he shut down Night Square Capital Partners, a hedge fund he had run with Michael Berkley who also moved to Citadel. Berkley will now be Aptigon’s sole portfolio manager for the consumer team.

Millennium operates a multi-strategy fund and employs about 200 investment teams. The firm stopped taking in new capital in 2015 and plans to return some capital at the end of this year. Millennium’s fund has gained 8.3 percent in the first nine months of 2018.

A Millennium spokesman declined to comment and Parekh could not be reached for comment.

Parekh is leaving Citadel, which manages $30 billion in assets, a few months after the firm laid off more than 40 people from its Aptigon unit, one of its biggest shakeups in years.

Most of the layoffs, which included portfolio managers, analysts, associates and ancillary staff, occurred in February and March.

Another former portfolio manager at Aptigon, Matthew Oak, also moved to Millennium recently, the sources said.

Citadel declined to comment.

Aptigon manages money for Citadel’s main multi-strategy Kensington and Wellington funds which are up roughly 14.75 percent this year.

Citadel said earlier this year it was committed to Aptigon’s success and made changes to strengthen the platform.

Several people who were unaffected by the layoffs have since left the firm. Lucy DeStefano, former head of trading at Aptigon, resigned in May and is set to join Soros Fund Management later this year. Joe Sinopoli, who worked on Parekh’s team, also recently left Aptigon, the sources said.

Sinopoli did not respond to requests for comment.

A spokeswoman said Citadel has hired 25 people at its Aptigon unit since February. Andrew Schoff, a member of the investment team at hedge fund Tide Point which shut down in September, will join Aptigon as a portfolio manager next week, the spokeswoman confirmed.. Vivek Mehta, who previously worked at Viking Global Investors and then ran his own firm, joined as a portfolio manager in September.

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by James Dalgleish and David Gregorio

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