Leon Shaulov, a senior portfolio manager at the Galleon Group, was preparing for the stock market to open on Oct. 16, 2009, when word spread that the firmâs founder, the hedge fund giant Raj Rajaratnam, had been arrested on insider trading charges.
In the days that followed, Mr. Shaulov and a skeleton crew of senior Galleon traders and portfolio managers worked tirelessly to unwind the hedge fundâs portfolio, jettisoning billions of dollars of stocks at fire-sale prices, ahead of what was sure to be a wave of investor redemptions that would swamp the firm.
But within a week, once the fundâs portfolio was largely liquidated, its more than 100 survivors faced a stark reality: Galleon was effectively out of business. Except for a small team, employees were handed separation agreements to sign and were told by Richard Schutte, the firmâs president, that there was no need for them to come to the office anymore.
Finding a job on Wall Street was tough after the financial crisis and next to impossible if your rÃsumÃ included a line that said âGalleon.â As photos of Mr. Rajaratnam in handcuffs multiplied worldwide, Galleon, once considered a prized client on Wall Street because of the huge stock-trading commissions it paid, turned toxic.
Even now, five years after the arrest of Mr. Rajaratnam, who is serving an 11-year sentence in a Massachusetts prison for trading on inside information, former Galleon portfolio managers and traders are reluctant to speak on the record about their efforts to rebuild their lives. Many are bitter about the experience because life after Galleon is not nearly as sweet as it was when they were at the fund. And some who worked at Galleon for only a short time are so worried about the taint that they have expunged mention of it from their rÃsumÃs.
âThese are years of my life I am not getting back,â said one former Galleon portfolio manager who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the stain still associated with the Galleon name. âEven today, it impacts my professional life. A year ago, when I was going and interviewing, Galleon was a stopper.â
A few Galleon portfolio managers, like Peter Swartz, who managed a small portfolio of technology stocks and had worked at other firms before joining Galleon, were able to find jobs in the industry. Mr. Swartz joined the Fortress Investment Group several months after leaving Galleon and is a portfolio manager in its Asian Macro fund.
But many other Galleon executives followed the path that Mr. Shaulov took, with varying degrees of success.
In 2010, Mr. Shaulov, who was a senior portfolio manager of the Galleon Buccaneerâs fund, started his own hedge fund, Maplelane Capital, with less than $50 million, mostly from his personal savings. Galleonâs sudden demise had come at a terrible time for Mr. Shaulov. He was having a strong year â Buccaneer, a short-term trading fund run by Mr. Shaulov and others, was up nearly 14 percent as of the end of September â and, like many, he was counting on a big bonus after suffering a steep drop in pay during the financial crisis. Mr. Shaulovâs portfolio had actually outperformed that of his Galleon peers in 2008, losing only 9.4 percent compared with far bigger shortfalls at the Galleon flagship technology fund managed by Mr. Rajaratnam. (Buccaneer would have eked out a 0.27 percent gain in 2008 had it not been forced to write down the assets it held at Lehman Brothers, which collapsed in September.)
Mr. Shaulovâs trading prowess helped him grow. Though he started small, he now manages about $500 million in assets. He deploys the money he runs in a smattering of stocks, including Galleonâs specialty, technology stocks.
Ananth Muniyappa, a Galleon trader, headed to Wall Street, even as he was being enlisted as a possible witness in the governmentâs investigation. He was on the firmâs trading desk on the afternoon of Sept. 23, 2008, when a man whom prosecutors say was Rajat K. Gupta, a Goldman Sachs director, called his friend Mr. Rajaratnam and tipped him off about an imminent investment in the firm by Warren E. Buffett. Mr. Muniyappa ended up testifying at the trial of Mr. Gupta, who was convicted of insider trading and is serving a two-year sentence. In between preparatory meetings with prosecutors, Mr. Muniyappa worked as a derivatives and technology sector strategist at Nomura Securities for two years.
Then he struck out on his own, starting a technology company with a couple of partners called Writebot, a tool that enhances collaboration and productivity online. After more than two years at Writebot, Mr. Muniyappa told friends he is set to return to Wall Street soon.
Even former Galleon executives who left before Galleon imploded did not escape unscathed. Todd Deutsch departed in 2008 and set up his own investment company, Bascom Hill Partners.
But when the Galleon arrests â which included a senior McKinsey #038; Company partner, Anil Kumar, and an analyst, Danielle Chiesi â made headlines, Mr. Deutschâs name was drawn into the fray. After all, he had been one of the fund companyâs most successful managers, running the Captainâs Partners fund and the Captainâs Offshore fund.
He was never implicated in any wrongdoing, but like almost everyone else who managed money at Galleon, he received the inevitable questions from his investors when the Galleon scandal erupted.
A couple years ago, Mr. Deutsch decided to convert his hedge fund into a family office, focused on managing his personal wealth, so that he could spend more time with his children and devote his energies to pursuing business and charitable opportunities.