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Morning Coffee: Hedge fund headhunters are making a fortune. Keith Gill's mysterious rest

If you're a headhunter placing the sorts of portfolio managers that major hedge funds are competing to hire, you can make good money. Very good money. If you actually get paid. 

As we reported not so long ago, Eisler Capital, the self-styled "intellectually honest" hedge fund, is in a dispute with Monroe Partners, a London-based headhunting firm that's been helping it find intellectuals to manage its AUM. 

CityAm has new details on what the dispute involves. The claim filed in the High Court by Monroe reportedly states that the headhunting firm was retained on a non-exclusive basis by Eisler to find some portfolio managers. Every time Monroe found a portfolio manager who stayed/survived at Eisler for a year, Monroe was supposed to be paid $600k (£477k). Of this, $400k was to be paid up front and $200k was to be paid upon the completion of a year of employment. 

Monroe now thinks Eisler owes it £389k after the headhunting firm placed a portfolio manager at Eisler and Eisler didn't pay. The £389k appears to comprise the upfront payment and something extra. Eisler is reportedly claiming in retaliation that the portfolio manager Eisler introduced was, in fact, introduced by another search firm. It has not said which. Neither Eisler nor Monroe have commented for this article.

If it all sounds both lucrative and complicated, it is. The case highlights the lucrative complexity of being a headhunter with a stable of top portfolio managers who are worth a small fortune if you can persuade them to change jobs and stay there, but only if they are talking to no other headhunters too. If your top candidate is also talking to your headhunting rival, and you're both pitching him/her to hedge funds, he/she is worth nothing to you if your rival gets there first. This is also why headhunters like loyalty. It is also why they try to seal this with coffee, although flagons of Champagne might be more appropriate given the fees on offer. 

Separately, now that Keith Gill-Roaring-Kitty-meme-God is seemingly back after making two posts on his X/Twitter account in 24 hours after staying silent for three years, everyone is wondering i) where he's been, ii) what he's doing next. 

Gill's X account suggests that what he's doing next is both leaning forward to play a game and turning into Wolverine after a period of lying in a tub of water. This has sparked an 8,000% rise in the Roaring Kitty token and a 74% increase in the value of GameStop stock, which Gill pumped last time his kitty was roaring.

Where has he been? No one knows. Gill presumably hasn't spent the past three years studying to reclaim his retracted CFA Charter. Nor has he been working after being reprimanded by FINRA. He still has two investigations pending from 2021, relating to "inflated share prices" and unreported activities outside his day job at MML Investor Services. He likely spent some time chilling. At one point, Gill was reputedly worth $30m. That's more than even a hedge fund headhunter when clients pay the bills.

Meanwhile...

The Financial Times tried inviting Keith Gill for lunch and he ignored them. (FT) 

Sergio Ermotti says Credit Suisse's tech systems are a challenge. UBS is bringing over about 300 out of 3,000 Credit Suisse applications and is only transferring the data that’s needed for the combined bank. If the process is delayed, costs will rise. (Bloomberg) 

JPMorgan hired more than 500 staff for its EU hubs last year. It now has 1,345 people in London, 706 in Paris. 656 people in Frankfurt, 676 in Dublin and 564 in Luxembourg.(Financial News) 

Goldman Sachs has 350 to 400 workers in Paris, triple what it was about five years ago. David Solomon says it's an "important hub." (Bloomberg) 

Crypto prop trading firm AlgoQuant hired Michael Ashby from Point72 and plans to expand in Dubai. (Bloomberg)

Filippo Gori is reshuffling his team in EMEA and has named Conor Hillery and Matthieu Wiltz as deputy chief executives for the region. Hillery is head of investment banking for EMEA. Wiltz was previously co-head of EMEA sales. (Financial News) 

Murray Roos, the former head of Citi equities, has quit his job as head of capital markets at the London Stock Exchange Group. (Financial News) 

Life as a junior banker isn't easy. “When things get a bit sh*t, all that puff about caring about juniors evaporates.” (Financial News) 

The head of PR at Baidu made a TikTok video proclaiming, “I’m not your mother-in-law. I’m not your mom...Why should it be my business that your child was crying?” She appears to have been fired. (WSJ)

When you retire before your spouse you have to do all the household chores and they may resent you. (WSJ) 

It's a fine time to be a G10 FX trader. (Bloomberg) 

Goldman Sachs' CEO David Solomon worries that “fewer and fewer” companies are going public. He also says that Goldman has room to grow in asset and wealth management. (Bloomberg) 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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