Bank of America the latest to hire an ex-hedge fund portfolio manager as an MD

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Yet another high-profile portfolio manager has left the hedge fund world to return to the sell-side. Stephen D’Silva, who spent nearly a decade as a portfolio manager at two different New York hedge funds, has joined Bank of America as a managing director.

D’Silva cut his teeth for more than three years in derivatives research and trading at Lehman Brothers until the crisis hit in 2008, according to LinkedIn. He spent the bulk of his career at hedge fund sponsor Laurion Capital Management as a portfolio manager. D’Silva worked for the past year in the same capacity at Capstone Investment Advisors before taking an MD role at Bank of America.

After a decade of traders fleeing investment banks, whether on their own accord or due to mass layoffs, several have recently made the trek back to the sell-side. Hedge funds are generally struggling – more closed than were launched for the third straight year in 2017 – and the average fee continues to drop. Meanwhile, traders at investment banks have booked several strong quarters in a row and are looking forward to presumptive changes to the Volcker Rule that should allow them to take more risks. “Don’t expect a mass exodus, but the sell-side is becoming more attractive for veterans who can earn MD titles” said one New York headhunter who asked to remain anonymous.

The news comes just a few weeks after former macro prop trader Robert Surgent rejoined Goldman Sachs as a managing director following eight years as a portfolio manager. He previously spent 17 years at Goldman in proprietary trading.

Bank of America confirmed D'Silva's arrival. An internal Lehman Brothers document now available online shows that D’Silva covered natural gas at the now-defunct bank. He was also a natural gas options trader at RBS Sempra Commodities and a portfolio structurer at U.S. Power Generating Company.

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