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12 Jan 2007

London Hedge Fund Launch

Brevan Howard, the hedge fund manager, is planning to raise up to £1bn through the first hedge fund listed on the main London market, investing the proceeds in the four-year-old manager’s flagship global fund

BH has rapidly risen to be one of London’s biggest hedge fund managers, the fund manages $11bn, mainly used for macroeconomic bets. BH is planning the new fund to run a similar strategy to MW TOPS, which was listed in Amsterdam by Marshall Wace, a rival British hedge fund group, in December.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is in the process of relaxing rules to allow single-strategy hedge funds to float in London. The move will be a coup for the London Stock Exchange after it lost out to its European rivals last year because of its ban on listed specialist hedge funds.

Marshall Wace’s listing on Euronext Amsterdam last month was the largest ever for a single fund, raising €1.5 billion for MW TOPS. It came after Sir Andrew Large, the former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England and its chairman, attacked the FSA’s restrictions as anachronistic.

Single-strategy hedge funds, as distinct from funds of hedge funds, had been banned from full listings in London because they were not sufficiently diversified and because of restrictions on short-selling.

BH was set up in 2002 by Alan Howard, Credit Suisse’s former head of interest-rate derivatives trading. Since then, its main global fund has returned 10.2 per cent a year with low volatility.

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