Quant Asset Manager GSA Cuts Five Jobs in Its Hong Kong Office

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(Bloomberg) -- GSA Capital Partners LLP, the London-headquartered $7.5 billion quantitative asset manager, has let go of five people in its Hong Kong office, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Four people on a team that handles discretionary equity trading in Asia lost their jobs, as did a person managing investment-bank relationships for GSA’s so-called alpha capture program, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the details are private.

GSA, which was spun out of Deutsche Bank AG in 2005, pulled the plug on internal human stock-pickers in Asia after the team’s returns fell short of expectations, the person said. It will continue to trade Asian markets for its alpha capture program out of London, the person said.

GSA’s Hong Kong office will still remain, housing data analysts, a systematic researcher and operational support staff, the person said.

Asset managers have been rationalizing their businesses amid fee pressure, rising costs and increasing competition. AQR Capital Management Holdings LLC, a quant fund firm based in Greenwich, Connecticut, cut jobs in January after a lackluster 2018.

Alpha capture programs gather recommendations from investment banks, analyze them and then try to profit from trading the best ideas.

Quant managers were early users of the programs, but, as they’ve grown in popularity, more traditional fundamental investors have begun to employ them. GSA has seen a gradual erosion of the strategy’s profitability, Chief Executive Officer David Khabie-Zeitoune was quoted as saying in July.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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