Top UK hedge fund also appears to have rolled out a LinkedIn ban

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There’s no shortage of career advice on how to present yourself on LinkedIn to potential employers. Endorsements, top skills and a general polished ‘personal brand’ are all key to attracting the attention of recruiters. But what if your current employer forbids you from selling yourself.

As we’ve mentioned previously, J.P. Morgan has banned its technology team from displaying all but the most sparse information about their credentials on social media. However, hedge fund Winton Capital appears to have gone one step further – stopping their employees naming their employer on LinkedIn.

Whether this is a formal ban or collusion between front office staff is unclear. The hedge fund did not respond to requests for comment. However, while business development employees and those in support functions at Winton proliferate on LinkedIn, traders and researchers merely state that they work for a ‘hedge fund’.

How do we know they work for Winton at all? Well, they are listed as employees on the Financial Conduct Authority register, but any identifying marks on social media are non-existent.

Examples include Thomas Babbedge, who says he works for a ‘$25bn CTA’, Bhavesh Majevadia, who claims to be work in trading at a ‘top five European hedge fund’. Others, like Meeraj Patel, Andrew Norman and Matei Oprea describe themselves as ‘hedge fund traders’, while Marc Servais says he’s a research developer at a ‘top 20 hedge fund’ – but neglected to remove Winton’s logo from his LinkedIn page. Mike Crow says he’s a ‘quant at a leading hedge fund’.

Hedge funds are notoriously secretive and it’s likely that Winton doesn’t want too much information about its employees in the public sphere. However, it marks what appears to be an increasing trend among financial services organisations – banning their employees from revealing too much information about themselves on social media.

What would be posited as a protectionist policy about potentially sensitive company information – particularly in the case of J.P. Morgan, which didn’t want any details of technology projects on display on LinkedIn – inevitably also serves as an indirect retention tool. If recruiters and rivals can’t find your employees on social media, they’re obviously unlikely to be poached.

Winton is currently in the midst of an expansion that could see up to 100 extra staff hired and is also moving into the U.S. market. Retention is clearly an issue.

At J.P. Morgan Dana Deasy, the global head of technology at J.P. Morgan, sent out a memo requesting that employees state no more than their names, corporate title and the bank they work for on their LinkedIn profiles. Endorsements were also banned.

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