Duet Commodities Fund Hires UBS Trader for Agriculture

March 7 (Bloomberg) -- Duet Commodities Fund Ltd., the London-based hedge fund with $350 million under management, hired Taha Ouertani as head of agricultural trading as it expands beyond energy and metals markets.

Ouertani, who led UBS AG’s agriculture team before the appointment, will start at Duet in June, the fund said today in an e-mailed statement. Stephanie Aneto, a UBS spokeswoman in London, declined to comment when reached by phone today.

The commodity fund was started in July 2010 by Chief Investment Officer Tony Hall, who oversees energy. Co-founder Arno Pilz is in charge of precious and industrial metals. It returned 27 percent in the January-to-November period last year, according to a monthly letter to investors.

Hall plans to “soft close the fund at $500 million in the near future,” he said today via e-mail. That means he will close the fund to new investors but will consider accepting additional allocations from existing clients.

Ouertani has also worked as a commodity trader at Morgan Stanley and Tudor Investment Corp., Duet said. The fund is part of Duet Group, which managed more than $2.8 billion as of Jan. 1, and employs 80 people, according to the release.

To contact the reporters on this story: Chanyaporn Chanjaroen in Singapore at cchanjaroen@bloomberg.net; Lars Paulsson in London at lpaulsson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net; Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net