Report: BlueMountain Sought To Hire JPMorgan Bankers As It Harpooned 'Whale'

Mar 1 2013 | 10:09am ET

BlueMountain Capital Management, which made hundreds of millions of dollars betting against the credit default swap index trades that cost JPMorgan Chase billions, allegedly earned the ire of some within the bank for its efforts to poach some members of JPMorgan's staff.

New York-based BlueMountain, which was later hired by JPMorgan to help it unwind the disastrous trades, sought to recruit several members of the bank's chief investment office in the months before JPMorgan revealed the loss, Reuters reports. The unit was the same one that housed Bruno Iksil, known as the "London whale," the trader who built the huge derivatives positions.

None of BlueMountain's targets joined the hedge fund and there is no indication that it did anything wrong, according to Reuters. But some within JPMorgan reportedly complained about BlueMountain's recruitment efforts as it and other hedge funds built positions countering the bank as JPMorgan's losses mounted.

Some traders in the chief investment office believed their unit was the victim of a coordinated attack by hedge funds.

BlueMountain, which has $12.5 billion in assets under management, is led by JPMorgan veteran Andrew Feldstein, and hired the bank's former head of corporate and investment banking, James Staley, in January.


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