Citadel's Aptigon Stock Unit to Close and Its Head Is Leaving

(Bloomberg) -- Billionaire Ken Griffin is shutting down the Aptigon stock unit at his hedge fund Citadel a year after restructuring the group, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Eric Felder, who has led Aptigon since last February, will leave the firm Thursday, said the person, who asked not to be named because the matter is private. Most of Aptigon’s money managers and their teams will join Citadel’s three remaining equity units: Citadel Global Equities, Surveyor Capital and Ashler Capital, said the person.

In a letter to investors Thursday, the $29 billion Citadel said that it had “mutually agreed” to part ways with Felder, the person said. A spokesman for the firm declined to comment and Felder wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Felder joined Chicago-based Citadel in 2017 from hedge fund Magnetar Capital Partners to start a group called Fundamental Strategies. Last year, he took the helm of Aptigon in a sweeping shake-up of the group that resulted in the departures of at least 45 people, including unit-head Richard Schimel. The restructuring came after Griffin had grown concerned about the direction of the Aptigon business. The firm said at the time it was committed to Aptigon’s success and would continue to recruit for the unit.

Felder also ran Citadel’s global credit business, and those managers will temporarily report to Griffin. The Fundamental Strategies business was folded into two other Citadel units earlier this year.

Citadel counts on small teams of traders to manage money independently from one another across its businesses: the -- until now -- four equity units plus fixed-income, quantitative, credit and commodities groups. Together they feed into the flagship multi-strategy hedge fund, which gained 4.55 percent in the first two months of the year. It gained 9.1 percent in 2018.

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