Brevan Howard Asset Management LLP, the $36.7 billion hedge fund started a decade ago by Alan Howard, is losing its third co-founder in three years as Chris Rokos is calling it quits.
Rokos, 41, is retiring as an “active partner of Brevan Howard to pursue his personal interests,” the London-based company said in a report to investors today. He won’t be managing money at Brevan Howard as of the end of this month, said a person with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because the fund is private. Nagi Kawkabani, a partner at Brevan Howard, declined to comment.
Howard founded Brevan Howard in 2002 with four other traders from Credit Suisse Group AG’s proprietary fixed-income trading desk. The first part of Brevan Howard’s name is made up of the initials of founding partners. With Rokos’s departure, only Trifon Natsis will remain working with Howard, who is the firm’s chief investment officer. James Vernon, the former chief operating officer and the “V” in Brevan, left last year. Jean-Philippe Blochet, the “B”, left in late 2009.
“I am grateful for the friendships I have made along the way,” Rokos said in an e-mail to Brevan Howard employees yesterday, the contents of which were provided to Bloomberg News. “I am especially grateful to Alan for his confidence and his guidance through varied and sometimes tumultuous markets over our 14 years working together at Credit Suisse and Brevan Howard. The firm has as deep a bench as it has ever enjoyed and I have every confidence that it will continue to thrive.”
Rokos said in the memo he hasn’t decided what he’ll do next. Brevan Howard thanked Rokos for his “important contribution to our success over the past nine years,” according to the report to investors in BH Macro Ltd., a publicly traded company that raises money for the company’s biggest hedge fund.
Brevan Howard, which has grown to be the second-biggest hedge fund firm in Europe, focuses on macro trading, seeking to profit from broad economic trends. The firm’s Master Fund fell about 0.9 percent this year through Aug. 10, according to a person familiar with the fund’s performance.
Macro funds lost an average of 2.3 percent in 2012 through July, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Howard manages about 12 percent of Brevan Howard’s assets and the rest is dispersed among the firm’s 60 traders, a person said.
Rokos’s personal fortune rose to 230 million pounds ($362 million) this year from 130 million pounds in 2011, according to an annual Sunday Times list of the wealthiest U.K. hedge fund managers.
Howard’s net worth was estimated by the London newspaper to have risen 44 percent to 1.4 billion pounds, putting him at the top of the ranking. In June 2010, Howard relocated to Geneva from London, joining other hedge-fund managers who moved to Switzerland after the U.K. government announced plans to raise taxes on top earners.