UBS Hires Ex-Brevan Howard Partner Pande for Wealth Unit

UBS Group AG has hired former Brevan Howard Asset Management partner Vinay Pande and his team for its wealth management unit as investors turn to hedge-fund type investment strategies to shield their portfolios from market shocks.

Pande will take a newly created role of managing director and head of trading strategies at the bank’s Chief Investment Office. The unit is tasked with developing investment recommendations for the wealth manager that oversees $1.9 trillion in assets, the Swiss lender said in a statement on Monday. His team will include Gerald Lucas, Yang Tang and Miguel Costa, all of whom worked with Pande at Brevan Howard.

Vinay Pande

Photographer: Santi Burgos/Bloomberg

The appointment of Pande, who previously also worked as chief investment officer of the World Bank, comes as his former boss, billionaire Alan Howard, predicts “exceptional" trading opportunities as four years of low market volatility comes to an end amid an interest-rate increase by the Federal Reserve in December and fears of a slowdown in China.

"These are the first hires we have made that focus on short-term investment strategies," Simon Smiles, head of the ultra high net worth and alternatives team at UBS’s Chief Investment Office, said in a telephone interview. "This is representative of the stage of the cycle we are at."

Pande, a former chief investment adviser at Deutsche Bank AG, and his team of former market strategists from the bank had joined Brevan Howard as part of the firm’s expansion in the U.S. in 2012 and managed Brevan Howard Strategic Macro Fund. They left the hedge fund recently, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News in October.

Investors began to allocate money to macro hedge funds last year, an area in which Pande and his team specialize. A net $33.6 billion was allocated in 2015 to macro funds and mathematical models that use economic trends and volatility to bet across asset classes, compared with $30 billion of net withdrawals a year earlier, according to Eurekahedge.

Pande, Lucas and Tang are based in New York, while Costa is in London, according to a UBS spokesman.

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