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Senior partner of Deutsche Bank ‘super-start-up’ hedge fund retires and goes into academia

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A senior partner at Arrowgrass Capital Partners, the $4.5bn hedge fund spun out of Deutsche Bank by a team of traders during the financial crisis in 2008, has retired to return to academia.

Chris Wehbe, a partner and head of relative value at Arrowgrass, left the firm on 31 December, according sources close to the situation, and is set to study a PhD at Oxford University. He already holds an MSc in Quantitative Finance and Risk from Bocconi University and has completed the CFA.

Wehbe headed a team of more than 20 investment professionals at Arrowgrass and was responsible for over €2bn in investor capital. He joined the firm in January 2008 from Deutsche Bank’s convertible bond team and became a partner in April 2009.

Arrowgrass grew out of Deutsche Bank’s convertible bond franchise, which was set up in 1998. In 2004, the team was renamed DB Omnis and moved on to its own proprietary platform. This was later spun out into a separate entity, with Deutsche Bank claiming a stand-alone firm would have more trading flexibility. Arrowgrass currently has around 100 employees in the U.K. and U.S. combined.

Before joining Deutsche Bank in 2007, Wehbe was part of Lehman Brothers’ European convertible bonds trading team. Whilst at Arrowgrass, he was also an advisory director on the board of Africa-focused hedge fund Alquity Investment Management – which allocates a proportion of its fees to educational and development projects in sub-Saharan Africa – a position he maintains, according to the Financial Conduct Authority register.

A number of investment banking prop traders have started their own hedge funds in recent years, with mixed success. Benros Capital, a fund set up by former Goldman prop traders backed by Brummer & Partners, closed last year. Portman Square Capital Management, led by former Citi proprietary trading chief Sutesh Sharma, was tipped to be one of the biggest fund launches of 2013, but eventually started with just $100m.

Arrowgrass was dubbed a “super-start-up” on its launch in 2008. Thanks to the ‘high calibre of trading talent’ it brought across from Deutsche, it was able to ‘soft-close’ its flagship Master fund with over $2bn in 2009.

Arrowgrass declined to comment.

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