A top partner at a $18 billion hedge fund is going it alone after winning big on Argentina

Argentina soccer fans smileMike Hewitt/Getty ImagesArgentina fans smile prior to the 2015 Rugby World Cup Bronze Final match between South Africa and Argentina at the Olympic Stadium on October 30, 2015 in London, United Kingdom.

Ben Melkman, a partner at hedge fund Brevan Howard, has left the firm and is working to set up his own fund, according to people familiar with the matter.

Melkman joined the firm in 2009, having earlier worked at Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank.

He was the lead manager on the fund’s $500 million Argentina fund, which is returning money to investors after delivering an 18% return since its inception.

Bloomberg first reported Melkman’s plans on Wednesday.

Melkman is highly-regarded in the macro investing world.

One senior market participant told Business Insider Melkman was “super smart and a very talented dude.” Another said Melkman launching would be “the most exciting hedge fund event since [Greg] Coffey left GLG for Moore.”

Brevan Howard, which manages around $18 billion and has offices in London, Geneva, New York and Hong Kong, has had a tough run.

The fund was set up in 2002 by Alan Howard, Chris Rokos and other former Credit Suisse colleagues, and became one of the preeminent macro hedge funds in Europe.

Rokos left in 2012, and later sued the firm to free himself from an employment agreement that barred him from managing money until 2018. That suit was settled last year, and Rokos is now behind one of the biggest hedge fund launches in recent memory.

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