BlueCrest Said to Hire DW Investment’s Heelan to Build ABS Group

BlueCrest Capital Management LLP, the $35 billion hedge-fund firm run by former JPMorgan Chase & Co. trader Michael Platt, hired DW Investment Management LP’s Shaun Heelan to boost its securitized-debt team.

Heelan, a former Bank of America Corp. trader, will be a portfolio manager focused on asset-backed securities and commercial-mortgage bonds, according to two people familiar with the move who asked not to be identified because it hasn’t been announced. He will be based in New York to oversee the fund’s securitized investments with John McNiff, who joined from Bank of America in May 2012, the people said.

BlueCrest, the third-biggest European hedge fund, is luring traders from rival asset managers and Wall Street banks as it seeks to build an “investment-bank quality” trading group, pushing traders to avoid big bets on the direction of bond prices and instead profit from smaller market anomalies, according to its website. The firm has increased its assets by about $7 billion since the end of 2011.

Ed Orlebar, a spokesman for London-based BlueCrest, and Daniel Jason who represents DW Investment, declined to comment. Heelan said he couldn’t comment.

BlueCrest is expanding its team to trade securities linked to everything from residential mortgages to skyscrapers and mobile-home parks after hedge funds focused on mortgage debt topped all categories in 2012, rising 22.7 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Heelan joined DW Investment from Bank of America, according to records maintained by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. He spent three years at Merrill Lynch & Co. before the brokerage was acquired by the second-biggest U.S. lender in January 2009 as banks that bet heavily on the U.S. housing market teetered on collapse, Finra records show.

DW Investment manages money for Brevan Howard Asset Management LLP, Europe’s second-biggest hedge fund, with $39 billion in assets. London-based Man Group Plc is the world’s largest publicly traded hedge fund, with assets of $57 billion as of Dec 31.

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