A couple of months ago, two of the greatest hedge fund managers to ever live had a bit of a disagreement on the matter of trading talent. Steve Cohen loudly complained that no one worth a damn wants to work for him anymore (without getting into any of the reasons why people might not want to work for him anymore). Ken Griffin retorted that Steve Cohen just wasn’t trying hard enough. For instance, did Steve notice that a once very successful hedge fund had hit a few legal rocks? Ken knows that he has. It’s just that, due to certain reputational issues, Steve feels like he can’t hire them. Ken, by contrast, at the suggestion of Steve’s ex-brother-in-law, no less, is ready to welcome 17 of them with open arms. They’ll sit next to the Enron and Sowood and Amaranth veterans that have been helping Ken pay for his little Florida getaway.
The day after Visium announced last month it largely would close, a new Citadel executive looking to make a splash, Richard Schimel, called Mr. Griffin at home on a Saturday with the idea to perhaps pick off the staff.
Mr. Griffin’s response: “Go for it,” Mr. Schimel recalled.
The 17 new Citadelers aren’t the only ones heading for the exits at Visium. KPMG—KPMG!—isn’t interested in remaining associated with such a firm. Perhaps AllianceBernstein, which last month said it would buy the reeking carcass of Visium, is considering a similar move? You know, since the thing they were gonna buy won’t exist anymore?
Accounting firm KPMG has resigned as the auditor for Visium Asset Management, according to a letter sent to investors of the embattled hedge fund firm this week….
The letter from Visium's Gottlieb also noted that the Global Fund would be unwound.
It's unclear what the liquidation, combined with the Citadel hires, would mean for a deal with AllianceBernstein (AB).
AB said in June that it had signed a letter of intent with Visium under which it would assume management of the Global fund, its investment team and certain support staff.