The world’s largest publicly-traded hedge fund Man Group is boosting its technology team in its Bulgaria office, with plans to take on engineers and quant developers.

In August the firm added Deyan Pandulev to its team as a senior executive. Pandulev moved into the role from his chief technology officer job at online casino games firm Amusnet, a source familiar with the appointment told Financial News.

London-headquartered Man Group — which has a global headcount of 1,655 according to the firm’s latest annual report, up from 1,498 — is looking to draft in Bulgaria-based talent for jobs involving Python and Java, and is also looking to hire for quant developers, infrastructure and platform specialists, set to be based in the region.

The overall technology team has more than 500 people, Man Group’s chief technology officer Gary Collier told FN previously.

Collier also noted the disruptive impact of artificial intelligence, which discretionary investors more recently have become more excited about, on the back of ChatGPT, despite not taking this up historically. The firm developed its own version, ManGPT, to leverage AI for its business.

“I believe the relative level of disruption could be much bigger. It is still early days but there are encouraging anecdotal signs; for one, discretionary portfolio managers are already showing more organic interest than they have with previous tech revolutions,” Collier told FN.

The hedge fund also plans to establish relationships with academic institutions in Sofia to boost its hiring.

Man Group has a history of collaborating with universities for research in financial markets and finding the top talent. In 2007, the hedge fund partnered with the University of Oxford to open the Oxford-Man Institute of Quantitative Finance. Man Group has committed more than £35m to research funding since the inception of the Oxford-Man Institute of Quantitative Finance.

Man Group first developed its presence in Bulgaria in 2020. The hedge fund picked Sofia as a strategic location to expand its technology and numeric quant capabilities.

In addition to building its back-office team, Man Group is also working on its front-office capabilities in the Sofia office, the people said.