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Aspect Capital Expects to Increase Staff to Match Asset Growth

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LONDON (–Fast-growing quantitative manager Aspect Capital Ltd. wants to recruit another 20 to 25 people. It already has expanded its staff from 70 to 90 in the past four to five months.

Funds managed by the London-based firm have grown to US$3.6 billion, up from US$2.7 billion about six months ago. “To serve our clients, we need to staff up the business so we can cope with the issues that come with growth,” said Alastair Smith, Aspect sales and marketing director.

Some of the jobs Aspect seeks to fill are in investment research and risk management. These include a senior fixed-income analyst, a quantitative currency researcher and analysts in financial engineering and other fields.

But the fund manager also is searching broadly for other skills. There are plans to add a lawyer to the legal team, get another one or two people for operations and find a sales person with French background, to be based in Geneva.

The firm runs managed futures and other trading programs, including a hybrid that combines traditional futures with macro-style value investing. Its investors are predominantly institutions such as funds of funds, banks and pension funds.

“They expect to see quality staffing across the board,” said Mr. Smith. About 30% of these clients are North American, and the rest are from Europe, Asia and the Middle East, he added.

Many hedge funds consist of only a few people, but institutions typically want their fund managers to have corporate governance with experienced professionals in key positions. Larger hedge funds have started to develop such organizational structures in recent years.

Aspect, founded in 1997 by the group that previously built the AHL managed futures business that is now part of Man Group plc,* appointed Michael Adam as director of risk management last year and centralized this function. Mr. Adam is part of the team that established the firm (see ).

*Man Group plc is a minority investor in HedgeWorld.

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