Carmignac hires European equities team from SAC in London

January 08, 2014  

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  Muhammed Yesilhark
Carmignac Gestion Group has appointed a new four-strong European equities team in London, who join from SAC Capital Advisors – Steve Cohen’s US-headquartered firm which is closing its London office amid the fall-out from a long-running insider trading inquiry in the US.

Muhammed Yesilhark leads the unit, which will manage €1.6 billion of the firm’s European funds from Carmignac Gestion Luxembourg’s London office. Yesilhark, a former Lazard analyst who helped to build York Capital’s hedge fund business for five years before joining SAC in 2009, will manage the Carmignac Grande Europe fund and the long/short Carmignac Euro-Patrimoine fund.

He will also co-manage the Carmignac Euro-Entrepreneurs strategy, which focuses on small and mid-caps, along with Malte Heininger, who worked with Yesilhark at SAC Capital and is a former investment banker at Morgan Stanley.

Yesilhark also brings two analysts to Carmignac: Huseyin Yasar, who previously worked in the M&A division at Goldman Sachs before joining Yesilhark’s team in 2011; and Saiyid Hamid, who joined SAC in 2013 and previously spent three years at private equity group TA Associates.

Carmignac – which is one of Europe’s largest independent asset managers – has around €55 billion of assets under management across 23 funds covering a broad mix of asset classes, with capital owned through a shareholding structure entirely by managers and staff.

The firm’s flagship Carmignac Patrimoine global balanced fund has delivered an 8.67% annualised return since it was set up 1989, and generated positive returns in 2008 at the height of the financial crisis.

Edouard Carmignac, the firm’s founder and chairman, said: "We’re bringing on board a talented team under Muhammed Yesilhark’s leadership to underscore our commitment to generate strong investment performance in European equities. The objective is to raise our European funds to first quartile."

He added: "Their experience in long/short management will help us to perform in all market conditions and will complement our risk management. The team will also contribute to the firm by originating investment ideas for use across the Carmignac Gestion Group funds range."

The team’s former employer, Steve Cohen’s SAC Capital, decided to shut its London offices toward the end of 2013. The closure was part of a scaling back of activities by SAC as a result of a sustained far-reaching probe by US investigators into alleged insider trading at the firm.

Earlier this month, Mathew Martoma, a former hedge fund portfolio manager at SAC, went on trial in New York accused of securities fraud linked to the hedge fund’s sale of two pharmaceutical company stocks. Martoma, who left SAC in 2010, denies the allegations.

In December, former SAC portfolio manager Michael Steinberg was convicted of insider dealing charges after he traded shares in technology companies on the back of confidential earnings reports. He will be sentenced in April.

In November, SAC agreed to pay $1.8 billion in a settlement to the long-running insider trading investigation into the firm. SAC also intends to close down its multi-billion dollar third-party investment advisory business to become a family office.

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