Last night we were thinking it’d been a while since we talked AQR Capital (and forever since any of the principals left a heated message for us). So we decided to see what was a poppin’ up in Greenwich. Turns out a lot! A little bird brings us up to speed:
AQR’s head of fixed income left yesterday. He was a star trader poached from Deutsche Bank three years ago. This is the second head of fixed income to depart the firm in a year.
They royally screwed people on bonuses last year and anybody who could has been walking out and even those without a back up are doing so. There have been at least five people who quit that place thus far this year without another job lined up. Probably because AQR enforces upon everyone (even junior analysts) a six month non-compete (so it’s in your advantage to walk ASAP if you recognize that there will be no payout).
They only have $20B total under management (this time last year it was $33B). About $19B of that is in managed account which only yields about 40bps in fees. And we all know the returns aren’t what they used to be.
Calpers completely withdrew its money. The marketing guys used to love to boast how they had Calpers (although it was in long-only managed account and not in hedge funds) to potential investors. They’ve probably gone quiet on the bragging lately.
Oh yes, one more thing. AMG, 25% owner of AQR, ordered Cliffy to get anger management counseling after his warm posting on your site. Since then he has been seen in his office walking around with no shoes on, incense burning, and occasionally engaging in meditation sessions behind closed doors.