Credit Suisse traders are prepping one of the biggest hedge fund launches this year

Credit Suisse traders are prepping one of the biggest hedge fund launches this year.

Qube, a quantitative-oriented hedge fund owned by Credit Suisse, has just opened its doors for business.

The fund, which is led by Pierre-Yves Morlat, started approaching investors about raising funds in the last few months, and now has $800 million in funds committed to the fund, according to people familiar with the matter.

It started trading at the start of this month with a little less than half that, or about $375 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

It is planning to take on the remaining sum of committed capital at the start of November, according to people with the matter. The fund is expected to manage as much as $1.2 billion by the start of next year.

Qube was incorporated in the UK in November 2015 as Credit Suisse Quantitative and Systematic Asset Management Limited, a regulatory filing shows.

Laurent Laizet is listed as chief investment officer, with Sean Rhie as chief operating officer, and Christina Wilgress as chief risk officer. Morlat is CEO.

A second fund owned by Credit Suisse, QT, is prepping a launch slated for the first quarter of next year, according to one of the people. That fund is led by Nick Branca in New York, and will target $600 million.

The two funds are trading in quant strategies with a focus on equities, a person close to the matter said.

Credit Suisse will be backing and wholly owns both funds, and the funds will be open to a very small number of investors, according to the people familiar with the situation.

The launches are a culmination of the bank’s decision last year to start moving Morlat’s team, the Systematic Market-Making Group (SMG), out of Credit Suisse’s global markets unit and into its asset management arm.

That was partly as a result of post-2008 financial crisis regulation, and is one tactic the bank used to retain proprietary traders.

Morlat co-headed SMG with New York-based Branca.

Morlat joined Credit Suisse in 2009 as the head of proprietary arbitrage trading for Europe and Asia, and was the global head of equity derivatives trading at Societe Generale until 2008. Branca joined the bank in 1997 in equities and sales trading.

A spokesman for Credit Suisse declined to comment.

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