Hedge Funds Feast On Talent As Prop. Desks Whither

Aug 9 2010 | 11:21am ET

Not only did the recently-passed Dodd-Frank financial regulation reform law leave hedge funds relatively unscathed, it is serving as a major recruitment tool for the industry.

The law requires banks to end their proprietary trading activities within four years, but talented traders on those desks aren’t waiting to flee for the greener, less-regulated pastures of the hedge fund world, Illana Weinstein of executive search firm IDW Group said.

“The amount of incoming flow to us from folks that were very sticky in the past and very talented is very unbelievable in terms of wanting to leave the prop. desk to go to the hedge funds to not have to deal with all of this stuff,” Weinstein, the firm’s CEO, told CNBC. “I think it’s turned hiring from the prop. desks into a buyer’s market for hedge funds.”

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America are among the large firms are considering spin-offs or shut-downs of their prop. desks.

“Hedge funds have their pick of whoever the remaining talented prop. traders are,” Weinstein said.

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