One of the co-founders of the fourth biggest hedge fund in the world, $32.6 billion Brevan Howard Asset Management, is leaving the firm.
James Vernon, who is the firm’s COO, is leaving to pursue “other interests,” Bloomberg reported.
It’s a huge loss for the giant macro fund.
“As chief operating officer, Mr Vernon has been instrumental in Brevan Howard’s success, say people familiar with the firm,” the FT reported.
Vernon and co-CEO Nagi Kawkabani “were the only public faces of the firm, whose other founders jealously guard their privacy.”
That makes him the second founding partner to leave the hedge fund colossus in less than two years. Jean-Philippe Blochet quit to join Louis Bacon’s Moore Capital, before leaving to focus on philanthropy.
According to the FT, ” Mr Vernon’s will be the most senior departure from the firm since it was set up nearly a decade ago. Jean-Philippe Blochet, another founding partner, left in autumn 2009, but did not hold a senior management role. Several other, more junior partners, have left the firm in recent months.”
It’s not a great time for such a high-level departure — Brevan’s returns were lacklustre last year, and haven’t improved much in 2011.
Vernon represented the “V” in Brevan Howard: the first part of the hedge fund’s name was created by combining the initials of its founders, which apart from Blochet, also included Christopher Rokos and Trifon Natsis, Bloomberg explained.
In 2009, Vernon said “the proposed EU directive on hedge-fund regulation would make it “impossible” for it to do business in the UK.”
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