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Ben Melkman, a partner at the 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 a new fund by Melkman would be “the most exciting hedge fund event since [Greg] Coffey left GLG for Moore.”
Brevan Howard, which manages about $18 billion and has offices in London, Geneva, New York, and Hong Kong, has had a tough run. The firm’s Master Fund lost 2% last year and is down 1.8% through April this year, and investors requested $1.4 billion in redemptions in the first quarter, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The fund was set up in 2002 by Alan Howard, Chris Rokos, and other former Credit Suisse colleagues, and it became one of the preeminent macro hedge funds in Europe.
Rokos left in 2012, and he 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 Rokos Capital Management, one of the biggest hedge fund launches in recent memory.