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Derivatives

Sandell To Bolster Credit, Arbitrage

Sandell Asset Management has boosted its merger arbitrage team and is preparing to hire more personnel later this year across several departments.

Sandell Asset Management has boosted its merger arbitrage team and is preparing to hire more personnel later this year across several departments. The event-driven firm, which manages USD3.2 billion, will probably hire another 15 staffers by the end of the year--a 30% increase. The hires are being made to "reinforce and keep improving our existing business," said Tom Sandell, founder. The new recruits will be roughly equally split among the firm's two investment departments--credit and arbitrage--and its administrative wing, said Jim Cacioppo, co-portfolio manager. Several of the hires are being made to strengthen sub-strategies, such as investing in Germany and capital structure arbitrage, he said.

In merger arbitrage, the firm recently hired Patrick Burke, formerly co-manager of Bear Stearns' risk arbitrage department. It also hired senior analyst Jeffrey Lin fromAvery Capital Management, as well as tradersAllen Lee from Caxton Associates and Paul Murrell from Cross Asset Management in London. Sandell also recently lostJohn Park, a managing director, andNate Storch, an analyst. Park went to Sagamore Hill Capital Management, while Storch took a position with Highbridge Capital Management. Sandell noted that the new hires were not replacements and had been in the pipeline for months. He added that the firm would look to close its master fund, Castlerigg Master Investments, in the next few months in order for it to remain nimble.

Steve Bloom, Sagamore's managing partner, noted that Park would serve as head of U.S. merger arbitrage for the firm. Burke, Lin, Park and Storch declined comment. Lee referred calls to Sandell. Murrell and a Bear Stearns spokesman did not return calls. Officials at Avery, Cross, Highbridge and Caxton declined to comment.

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