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Brevan Howard has been losing staff this year, but is still willing to hire quants.

Brevan Howard bites the bullet on senior quant hire

Headcount at Brevan Howard has been heading down this year, as Alan Howard’s hedge fund deals with fund outflows and ongoing poor performance.

However, like most hedge funds, Brevan Howard appears willing to invest in quant expertise. It’s just brought in Duncan Larraz, who was latterly head of quant analytics at asset management firm Tages Capital. He joined Brevan Howard as a strategist earlier this month.

Larraz was head of collateralized debt obligation (CDO) investments for UBS’s asset management arm in Chicago until he left to found London-based hedge fund Morganweiss Capital in April 2012. He then joined Charles Street Capital’s systematic investments division in 2013, before moving to asset manager training firm Essentia Analytics in December 2014, where he was head of financial engineering. He signed up to Tages Capital in May 2015.

Larraz's arrival comes as Brevan Howard has been losing staff. Its Master fund is down 3.8% so far this year, according to Bloomberg. Last year, Brevan cut employees by 32% - it had 178 employees in 2015, but reduced headcount to 122 by the end of March last year, according to its latest accounts.

While Larraz bolsters Brevan's quant analytics team, actual traders have been trickling out. Most recently, James Watson, a Brevan Howard partner who joined in 2011 after a four-year stint at Morgan Stanley where he was head of swaps trading ex-euro, left for Millennium Capital Management in May. Meanwhile, former Goldman Sachs prop trader Andrew Dausch who also joined Brevan in 2011, left for Moore Capital Management and Mark Deniston left the hedge fund to lead GDP rates trading at Royal Bank of Scotland in January.


Image: Getty Images

AUTHORPaul Clarke

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