Englander’s Millennium Poised for Biggest Gain Since 2000

Izzy Englander’s Millennium Management is headed for its best performance in 20 years and is scooping up more talent than ever, according to people familiar with the firm.

The multi-strategy hedge fund gained 3.4% this month through Dec. 17. That brought performance for this year to 23.3%, the people said. The S&P 500 Index jumped about 15% over that span. Hedge funds returned 5.8% through November, according to Bloomberg indexes.

In 2000, Millennium posted a 36% return on less than $2 billion of capital. Now, the hedge fund oversees $48.5 billion, the most ever. The firm is returning at least $8 billion to investors at year-end as part of its effort to create a more stable capital base.

Millennium, which counts on more than 240 teams, or “pods,” of traders to manage its capital, hired about 70 teams this year, the people said. That’s the most since the firm was founded in 1989. Millennium has another two dozen teams in the pipeline to start in the next 18 months.

While Millennium closed several pods after the market meltdown in March hit the hedge fund hard, the firm has ultimately hired more than it has fired in 2020. The expansion is part of a multiyear effort to diversify the asset classes and regions in which Millennium invests. Half of its new teams this year are based outside of the U.S., one person said.

Last year, Millennium’s investment team hiring increased by 38%.

Millennium’s pods typically consist of one or more portfolio managers and analysts, and can be as small as two people. While Millennium’s staff started working from home in early March, the firm’s IT department has been integrating new hires by traveling to their respective locations and installing the necessary equipment.

Despite the staggering number of hires, they represent less than 1% of Millennium’s annual job candidates, a person familiar with the firm’s hiring practices said.

A representative for the firm declined to comment.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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