In 2016, Brevan Howard Asset Management has been more about cost cutting than expansion. However, the macro fund is still bringing people through the door and – unusually – seems to be hiring from struggling competitors.
The latest recruit is Karsten Filt, who joined as a portfolio manager earlier this month. Filt joins from BTG Pactual, which has been cutting investment staff this year.
Filt only worked at BTG for five months, having joined in October 2015 and left in March this year. Previously he spent 14 years at Credit Suisse and was a director when he departed in August 2015.
So far this year, Brevan Howard has lost more people than it’s brought in. It now has 69 employees registered on the Financial Conduct Authority register, down from 76 at the beginning of the year. Before Filt it hired Nick Matthews, a former senior economist at Nomura, which has disbanded its equity research function in Europe, as a senior economist.
Meanwhile, traders who previously joined Brevan from investment banks, including Mark Deniston, a former managing director and head of sterling rates swaps at Goldman Sachs, and James Watson, the former head of swaps trading at Morgan Stanley, departed in August.
Brevan Howard has been leaking assets. Year-to-date in 2016, it’s understood to be down for the second year running, and has cut fees in line with competitors like Tudor Investment Corporation and Caxton Associates. Despite this, it has ruled out closing any funds or returning capital and focusing on managing money internally.
Brevan isn’t the only fund hiring from BTG Pactual. Millennium Capital Management hired three portfolio managers from BTG in September.