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A Goldman Sachs rates MD left for a hedge fund

Now that Goldman Sachs bonuses have been paid, people there are free to leave. One managing director at least has availed himself of that opportunity.

Amir Fais, Goldman's head of emerging markets rates trading, said today that he's leaving the firm after 15 years and is starting a "new part" in his career. Multiple sources say this part will involve working for a hedge fund, although no one knows which, and Fais didn't enlighten us.

Fais's exit may prove the first of several. Although Goldman seems to have found some extra money to pay its traders so that their bonus pool didn't fall by the 30% initially feared, many traders at the firm weren't paid as much as they'd hoped. Goldman's fixed income currencies and commodities (FICC) revenues rose 44% last year, but its equity capital markets and debt capital markets revenues fell by 82% and 70% respectively and its consumer bank generated revenues of $433m in the fourth quarter that were eclipsed by writedowns of $972m. 

Revenues earned by FICC traders will therefore have been used to subsidize the retention of talent in other divisions. This is the game in banking, but if you're a rates trader coming off an exceptional year, it's conceivable that you might feel discouraged by the fact that your pay didn't correlate to your performance. Particularly when hedge funds tend to follow a pay for performance formula that awards up to 30% of profits at funds like BlueCrest. 

Fais was made MD at Goldman in 2013. He was mentored by Kunal Shah, Goldman Sachs' head of emerging markets trading, who was promoted to partner aged 27.

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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