Rare is the start-up that has 300 employees and customers as prestigious as Blackstone Alternative Asset Management and D.E. Shaw & Co. on day one. That was the good fortune of Arcesium, a posttrade services specialist that D.E. Shaw spun out of its own operations in 2015 with a management team led by Gaurav Suri, who had been the renowned, high-tech hedge fund firm's head of information technology and software development. The venture's name is derived in part from "cesium," the chemical element used in atomic clocks, to connote operational precision.
Arcesium is growing at a healthy clip, offering a "cloud-based, co-sourced" service model that allows hedge funds to maintain control over treasury, operations, and accounting functions performed on the firm's state-of-the-art platform while having access to staff expertise in accounting, operations, technology, and treasury. Head count has increased to 650, occupying expanded space in New York and Hyderabad, India, and assets supported have risen to $65 billion, from $40 billion at the start. Clients added over the past year include EJF Capital, an Arlington, Virginiabased alternative-asset management firm, with $5 billion under management; and Balyasny Asset Management, which has offices in the U.S., the U.K., and Hong Kong and $13 billion under management. Suri, 46, who has a master's degree in computer science from the University of Illinois and joined D.E. Shaw in 1996 from Bell Laboratories, says there are additional growth outlets: "We are in conversations with a broad array of financial players beyond hedge funds who could benefit from the platform, including private equity managers, traditional asset managers, and global custodians."
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