KBC Alternative Investment Management has been hiring over the last few months and has close to doubled headcount on a year ago. For example, it has increased its equity volatility trading force to five traders after losing its existing pair--Steve Kelso and Paul Jones--to Old Mutual Asset Managers in the spring. Carlo Georg, cio in London, and previously head of trading at KBC Financial Products, said the majority of the additions transferred from KBC FP's prop trading group. He declined to name the traders.
The spree was launched as the group started to turn around its returns, after suffering from redemptions last year. Ranked eighth in Alpha magazine's Europe hedge fund rankings at the start of last year, it had slipped to 27th at the start of this year.
Georg said KBC AIM has since been recording good returns. He declined to specify returns or comment on assets under management but said the group is now thinking about expanding its funds. "There are a lot of plans for where we are going," he said, adding KBC has been talking with investors about these plans, declining to give details.