BlueCrest Staff Shared $128 Million in 2016 as Returns Rose

Updated on
  • Payout at U.K. company was up 27% on 2015, filings show
  • This follows an almost 50% return at the former hedge fund

BlueCrest Capital Management (UK) LLP, an affiliate of billionaire Michael Platt’s investment firm, paid some senior staff 96.7 million pounds ($128.2 million) last year, according to a filing with Companies House.

The payout was up 27 percent on the previous year after the money manager posted a gain of almost 50 percent in 2016, the first year of trading as a family office. Staff at other affiliates may also have received payments. A spokesman declined to comment.

Once one of Europe’s largest hedge funds, BlueCrest said in December 2015 that it would return client money -- about $7 billion of the $8 billion it managed -- in favor of trading with higher levels of borrowed capital.

The change also gave Platt more flexibility to invest, hire and reward employees. BlueCrest raised the percentage of profits its money managers could earn last year in an effort to hire and retain top traders, a person with knowledge of the matter said at the time.

Michael Platt.

Source: BlueCrest Capital Management

Platt, who according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index has a net worth of $1.9 billion, saw his firm enjoy rapid growth in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, but its fortunes deteriorated amid faltering returns and concerns about potential conflicts of interest.

BlueCrest’s recent performance contrasts with losses at some of the world’s biggest hedge funds. Andrew Law’s Caxton Associates lost more than 10 percent in the first six months of the year, while Brevan Howard Asset Management’s main hedge fund suffered its worst loss for a first half since it began trading in 2003, dropping more than 5 percent, people familiar with the matter said.

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