Monday, October 31, 2016
Brevan Howard — one of the hedge fund industry's biggest names — is shrinking at a rapid rate
Investors in Brevan Howard, one of the hedge fund industry's biggest names, are asking for their money back.
Brevan Howard Asset Management has received redemption requests for an additional $2 billion from the firm's flagship fund this year, according to people familiar with the matter.
A Brevan Howard spokesperson declined to comment.
That fund managed about $13.7 billion as of mid-September, according to HSBC. The latest redemption requests would take the fund down to around $11.7 billion, almost half the size it was a year ago.
The Financial Times reported in early October that investors had pulled at least $5 billion this year. The $2 billion figure, which will be returned by year-end, is in addition to that number.
The withdrawals signify a changing tide for Brevan, a titan in the industry that as recently as 2013 managed about $40 billion firmwide. At one point, the flagship fund managed $27 billion, a fund size cofounder Alan Howard recently said was too large.
For one, some of its star talent has left to start their own firms. One of its founding partners, Chris Rokos, left in 2012 and has since launched multi-billion dollar fund Rokos Capital. Ben Melkman, who headed the firm's winning Argentina fund, left earlier this year and is setting up Light Sky Macro in New York.
The redemptions were somewhat expected as Brevan Howard has posted lackluster returns. In June, Business Insider reported that the firm was preparing for a "worst-case scenario" in which its assets would dramatically drop.
Brevan Howard's flagship fund posted a loss of about 2% last year, and is down 3.4% this year through October 28, according to HSBC data.
The Rhode Island State Investment Commission, a pension, voted last week to redeem its investments from Brevan Howard, among other hedge funds.
The losses have fed speculation that the firm might close shop to become a family office, managing founder Alan Howard's fortune. Howard, however, told the FT earlier this month that he has no plans to do so.
Brevan isn't alone in facing withdrawals. Investors have pulled a net $60 billion from the $3 trillion hedge fund industry this year, according to eVestment.