What we know about Carmignac’s new European equity unit

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The new recruits joining Carmignac Gestion appear to have been one of the European fund industry’s best-kept secrets.

The French firm’s biggest manager shake-up of the last few years sees four European equity stock picking specialists join in order to raise its European funds to the first quartile, according to company founder Edouard Carmignac.

'Their experience in long-short management will help us to perform in all market conditions and will complement our risk management,' Carmignac added.

The quartet of Muhammed Yesilhark (pictured above), the new lead manager on Carmignac Grande Europe, Carmignac Euro-Patrimoine and Carmignac Euro-Entrepreneurs, Malte Heininger, the co-manager of the Carmignac Euro-Entrepreneurs fund, and analysts Huseyin Yasar and Saiyid Hamid were previously at SAC Global Investors.

This was the London office of SAC Capital Advisors, a US hedge fund which announced in October last year it was closing its London office.

This followed reports its founder, Steven A. Cohen, was scaling back the business as he tackled insider-trading allegations in the US. In November 2013, SAC Capital Advisors agreed to pay $1.8 billion in a record insider-trading settlement with the US government. Since the news a number of its managers and traders have left to join other firms.

Investigations conducted by the regulator found that the London office (SAC Global Investors) and its fund managers had in no way been implicated in the cases pursued.

The SAC Global Investors office employed more than 50 people in London, according to a report from Bloomberg, where Yesilhark and his team managed a large European equity fund for four years.

Team leader Yesilhark began his career as an analyst at Lazard in Frankfurt and went on to help build York Capital Management’s hedge fund business for five years. He then joined SAC Global Investors in 2009.

His co-manager, Heininger (pictured left), has been working with him for more than three years and is a former investment banker at Morgan Stanley.

Analysts Yasar and Hamid joined his team in 2011 and 2013, respectively. Yasar previously worked on Goldman Sachs’ M&A division while Hamid worked for three years at private equity firm TA Associates.

They have been hired to improve the performance of Carmignac’s European equity products. Over three years to the end of November 2013, the Carmignac Grande Europe fund has returned 13.76% while its STOXX Europe 600 TR benchmark has risen by 38.65%.

The Carmignac Euro-Entrepreneurs returned 33.3% over the same period while the MSCI Europe Small Cap index posted 51.46%.