It was a tough year for hedge funds: the third worst, according to the Absolute Return Composite Index, since 1998. (A bad ten years, actually.) But holiday parties are about togetherness and gratitude or whatever, so why not invite Katy Perry and Maroon 5 if you can still swing it?
Ken Griffin’s Citadel marked its 25th anniversary with major parties last month. One, in its hometown of Chicago, was a black tie affair featuring singer Perry backed by costumed dancers and an elaborate lighting display, according to video clips of the event posted online. Another, in New York, featured band Maroon 5 and violinists suspended by strings. Citadel’s main hedge funds have again performed well this year and the firm now manages a record $25 billion.
Viking, Andreas Halvorsen’s Greenwich, Connecticut-based firm, had an anniversary party for employees at the Museum of Natural History in New York, according to a person familiar with the situation. The October event featured dinner and Cirque du Soleil-style performers. Viking, founded in 1999, now manages more than $30 billion, making it one of the largest private fund managers in the world. Its main hedge fund was up about 4 percent for the year through September, according to a report in hedge fund news provider Alpha.
Meanwhile, Mike Harris’ Campbell will continue its tradition of bringing a Santa Claus impersonator to the company party to give out presents. Employees will also be given soft-shell winter jacket emblazoned with the company logo. Adam Tremper, Campbell’s marketing director, wrote to Reuters in an email: “Campbell generally does a little extra for the employees around Christmas.”
“It’s a very difficult and real balancing act,” Westwood Partners recruiting specialist Adam Herz said. “You want to recognize people for working hard even without bonuses and at the same time not offend clients when you may have lost money and taken fees.”
Very difficult and real. Like managing a hedge fund!