Rokos Hires Ex-Brevan Howard Colleague Ahead of Fund Startup

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Chris Rokos, a former top trader at Brevan Howard Asset Management, hired Borislav Vladimirov to help establish his new hedge fund, expected to be one of the biggest European startups since the financial crisis.

Vladimirov, who was a partner with Rokos at Brevan Howard, started last month, said Alan Kilkenny, a London-based spokesman for Rokos. He is likely to work on emerging-markets investing when Rokos Capital Management begins trading, Kilkenny said.

Rokos, 44, is hiring as he converts his family office with pledges from outside investors. At least six new hedge funds are on track to start with at least $1 billion this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, after eight firms began with a 10-figure sum last year. The industry hasn’t seen this many mega-startups since 2005, when 13 funds raised a total $19 billion.

Vladimirov has joined from Graticule Asset Management Asia, a macro hedge fund part-owned by Fortress Investment Group, according to the Financial Conduct Authority’s register of individuals approved to work in finance. He previously spent eight years at Brevan Howard, which Rokos co-founded in 2002.

Stuart Riley, a former Asia-Pacific co-head of macro trading at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., joined Rokos earlier this year.

Rokos, who specializes in trading around macro-economic themes, generated more than $4 billion as a trader at Brevan Howard. He sued his old firm last year to void an agreement preventing him from managing external money until 2018. Rokos settled in January and Brevan Howard will have “a financial interest” in the startup, the two parties said at the time.

The number of startup hedge funds has declined every year since 2011 and dropped to 1,040 last year, according to Chicago-based data provider Hedge Fund Research. Still, investors hoping for higher returns are writing big checks to a handful of new larger funds, frustrated with the mediocre performance of some of the industry’s old guard, including John Paulson’s Paulson & Co.

The Financial Times reported Vladimirov’s hire earlier on Tuesday.

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