Four Citadel Portfolio Managers Leave After Market Dives
(Bloomberg) -- Four equity portfolio managers were fired from Ken Griffin’s Citadel hedge fund last week, after one of the most volatile months for stocks on record.
The four managers are Chris Connor, who ran a technology portfolio; Tio Charbaghi and Steve Bergman, who both ran baskets of industrial stocks; and Chip Fortson, who ran a book of financial stocks, according to people familiar with the firm.
The managers all worked in the firm’s Global Equities group, which got a new head at the beginning of March, when Justin Lubell took on the role. He previously worked for Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management.
A spokeswoman for Citadel confirmed the firings, and declined to comment further. Connor declined to comment, and the others couldn’t be reached for comment.
Citadel had been among firms that were struggling in the first half of March as the coronavirus pandemic virtually halted the global economy and seized up markets from stocks to bonds to commodities. Its flagship funds had been down 5.3% through March 20 before things turned around, Bloomberg previously reported. Then, the unprecedented moves by the Federal Reserve and the promise of a $2 trillion economic stimulus package boosted markets, giving funds a reprieve.
The flagship funds ended March up 1.2%, bringing year-to-date performance to almost 6%. All five of the strategies that feed into them were flat or positive over the period.
Other multi-strategy funds also gained last month or posted minimal losses compared to the overall markets, where stocks, bond yields and commodities all sank. Balyasny Asset Management climbed 3.7% and ExodusPoint Capital fell 70 basis points.
Citadel has continued hiring. Richard Falk-Wallace, a natural resources portfolio manager who previously worked at Viking Global Investors, joined Citadel’s Surveyor unit last week. Jake Koury, a portfolio manager covering consumer stocks who most recently worked at Balyasny, will be joining the firm’s Global Equities group next month.
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