Rokos Capital Management has continued hiring senior staff for its macro fund, and has just taken on a senior economist from the Bank of England who was responsible for putting together governor Mark Carney’s speeches on monetary policy and macroeconomics.
Benjamin Nelson, who was a senior economist and economic assistant to the governor of the Bank of England, is the latest senior recruit to arrive at the $6.7bn hedge fund run by former Brevan Howard star trader Chris Rokos. He joins as a senior economist focused on macro research after spending nearly eight years at the Bank of England.
Nelson joined the Bank of England in October 2009, straight after completing a PhD in Economics from Oxford University. His latest role involved both economic research and drafting speeches for governor Mark Carney on key issues related to monetary policy and macroeconomics, according to his public profile.
Hedge funds supposedly no longer pay the sort of big bucks that swayed investment banks’ top prop traders across in the pre-crisis glory days, but it’s likely that Nelson has just gained the chance to drastically increase his compensation. The Bank of England has strict salary bands for its employees, and senior economists fall into Band 3, which pays £49,440-£81,451. Rokos’ latest publicly available accounts, to 31 March 2016 (published in December), show that it spent £9.6m on its 59 employees, or an average payment of £156.8k.
After keeping headcount relatively stable for months, Rokos Capital Management is now on a hiring spree as it seeks to increase its assets under management to £15bn, double the number of portfolio managers it has and gradually reduce the amount of money that Chris Rokos personally manages, according to Business Insider.
Nelson is the third senior hire in the space of a month. As we reported earlier, Omar Gzouli, the former head of U.S. exotics trading for the Americas at Barclays in New York, signed up as a portfolio manager in May. Rokos’ star appeal has swayed some other impressive recruits across. Ramnek Matharu joined as a partner and portfolio manager in May too. He was a former Goldman Sachs equities trader who made managing director four years after joining the bank in 2005, aged 31. He retired from the bank in 2014, before he hit 40.
Rokos Capital Management’s accounts to March last year show a £2.5m loss on revenues of £11.6m, but the fund gained 20% for the whole of 2016. Half of this was generated in the final three months of 2016. Chris Rokos started Rokos Capital Management in 2015 after successfully contesting a high-profile non-compete dispute with his former employer that would have stopped him working in a hedge fund role for five years. Before the recent hiring spree, it had five portfolio managers, 25 employees registered with the Financial Conduct Authority and 59 staff in total.
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