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Morning Coffee: Hedge funds battling a tide of students who want to work there. The banks with expansionary plans in Q4

With graduate recruitment season fully underway, investment banks are unlikely to be short of applications; JPMorgan received 73 applicants per place in its investment bank for the last round. 

But however hard it is to get a job in an investment bank, getting into a bank is easy compared to getting either a graduate job or internship in a hedge fund. 

Bloomberg reported last month that Citadel received 69,000 applications, but hired only 13 students in Hong Kong. "There’s only a finite pool of truly exceptional students,” said Kristina Martinez, Citadel’s managing director in charge of human resources in Asia-Pacific, implying that most of the 69,000 were not in it. Companies "that intersect" with Citadel also wanted to hire those students, added Martinez, saying "we need to get in early.”

Citadel is Citadel. It has internships paying $20k a month and deluxe hotels where interns spend a week getting to know each other. But students are also pouring applications into lesser known hedge funds, including Rokos Capital Management, the macro-focused based in London, which doesn't offer a week in the British countryside.

Financial News reports that applications for Rokos' 2023 internships were up 300% on 2022. 2,500 people applied for 11 jobs, resulting in an acceptance rate of just 0.44%. Applicants for this year's class are already up on last year. 

What does it take to get one of these internships? Citadel puts its exceptional recruits - all of whom have excellent academics and many of whom have side-achievements like novel writing and winning mathematics Olympiads, through multiple face to face interviews. Rokos doesn't divulge its recruitment practices, but it likes to hire candidates from diverse backgrounds: of last year's 11 recruits, three were women and eight came from underrepresented ethnic groups.

One student who spent some time at Rokos told us it was far preferable to working for an investment bank, which he said seemed to be full of white men shouting at each other.

Separately, it's nearly the fourth quarter - a time of year when hiring traditionally slows - but some banks are still talking-up their expansion plans. 

Santander has been expounding just how many people's it's hired in the past year. - There have been "hundreds" says Chairman Ana Botin, including head of M&A Steve Geller and global head of equity and debt capital markets David Hermer, both from Credit Suisse. 

Baird says it wants to hire "seasoned dealmakers in Europe", having doubled its European headcount to around 90 dealmakers across London and Frankfurt since 2018. It hired London-based Pat Guerin as co-head of M&A earlier this year and says it's "actively looking” for bankers across its core sectors of consumer, healthcare, technology and business services."

And Moelis & Co, which likes to hire counter-cyclically and to recruit MDS externally, is moving into a bigger office in London's Baker Street, where it will have room for more people from 2025...

Meanwhile...

Galaxy Digital has decided it wants to expand in Europe and has appointed Leon Marshall, a former executive at crypto broker Genesis, as its first head of Europe. (Financial Times) 

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Two women have submitted a civil claim in the High Court in London accusing Crispin Odey of sexual misconduct. (Financial Times) 

Kurt Baker, the former head of Morgan Stanley’s Asia prime brokerage, is seeking nearly $3 billion in capital commitments for a multi-manager hedge fund firm to rival the likes of Citadel in the region. It will be called 30th Century Partners and plans to start in June 2024. (Bloomberg) 

Citi has told UK employees it might be making them redundant. (Reuters) 

Deutsche Bank hired Ainslee Withey, a technology banker from Barclays in San Francisco. (Reuters) 

Paternity leave is the new thing. Jake, who works in a support function at a bank, says extended leave had no impact on his job: “My boss was super-supportive, he’s got two young children himself. I got my biggest pay rise ever.” (Financial Times)

Private credit is beating private equity. Blackstone merged its credit and insurance arms, which together manage $295bn, more than double the $137bn in its private equity business. Schwarzman has said the combined business could grow to manage $1tn in the next decade. (Financial Times) 

Andrea Rossi, the chief executive of M&G, wants his people in the office. “I get a bit frustrated when I come in on a Friday because the whole City, it’s empty. M&G has an enormous opportunity to sustainably grow this business in the coming years, even in the coming months, and it’s important to get more people together.” (The Times) 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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