Teacher turned hedge fund manager is latest Brevan Howard exit
An FX strategist at Brevan Howard, who went into hedge funds after two years as a grammar school physics teacher, has become the latest senior exit.
Teaching is often viewed as a vocation to escape financial services careers, but Oliver Brennan worked at the selective Dr Challoner’s Grammar School in Buckinghamshire for two years before joining Brevan Howard in 2007.
Brennan spent three years at Brevan Howard before leaving for State Street Global Investors in 2011. He spent less than a year there before moving to Tudor Investment Corporation in February 2012, but returned to Brevan Howard by August that year. He left again earlier this month.
Brennan has a Masters degree in Physics from Oxford and went into teaching upon graduation. He does, however, fit the typical recruit of Brevan Howard – highly-quantitative and with a degree from a top university.
Brevan Howard has been losing senior portfolio managers and traders over the past few months. Roberto Hoornweg, the former head of securities distribution at UBS who joined Brevan Howard in 2012, left to join Standard Chartered in December. Paul Ellis, the former yen trading chief at Credit Suisse who joined the hedge fund in 2012, has also left, according to the Financial Conduct Authority.
Brevan Howard appears to be cutting back on its macro-focused employees. In January, Mark Deniston, the former head of sterling rates swaps at Goldman Sachs who joined Brevan Howard in 2013, left in January to head up GBP rates trading at Royal Bank of Scotland.
In November, Brevan offered to buy back shares in its BH Macro Limited fund. 48% of investors took up the offer, allowing the fund to avoid a wind-down. Overall, investors withdrew $7bn in assets during 2016, bringing assets under management to $15.6bn at the end of December.
In the year to March 2016, Brevan Howard cut headcount by 32% on the previous 12 months, but paid its 122 employees an average of £162.2k – up from £132.5k in 2015.
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