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Brevan Howard's assets have risen to more than $30 billion, or about five times the lows seen in late 2018, while headcount has grown to more than 700. Image Credit: REUTERS

Dubai: Brevan Howard Asset Management co-founder Trifon Natsis has relocated to Abu Dhabi as part of the company’s plans to expand in the UAE, which is fast becoming a major hub for hedge funds.

The Jersey, Channel Islands-based investment firm, best known for macro trading and a recent push into digital assets, has also moved portfolio manager Mitesh Gupta to its new outpost in the UAE capital, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The firm is sounding out other employees from trading, risk, sales and marketing about moving to the region where it eventually plans to have about 100 people, the people said, asking not to be identified because the details are private.

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A spokesman for Brevan Howard declined to comment.

The move follows efforts by Abu Dhabi, whose sovereign wealth funds oversee some $1.5 trillion, to draw in more international foreign money and financial firms. Ray Dalio is setting up a branch of his family office in Abu Dhabi Global Market, the emirate’s international financial free zone, which has wooed a cadre of big hedge funds, venture capital firms and crypto companies this past year. In May, Abu Dhabi said it plans to expand ADGM tenfold to make it one of the world’s largest financial districts.

The UAE is already home to a number of alternative investors. Izzy Englander’s Millennium Management has more than two dozen people working for him in Dubai, while Michael Gelband’s ExodusPoint, one of the largest multi-strategy hedge funds, is expanding in the city. Michael Platt’s private investment firm BlueCrest Capital Management is also building a presence.

With double-digit gains in its two main hedge funds in 2022, Brevan Howard is on its strongest footing in years as Chief Executive Officer Aron Landy cements his leadership after taking over the role from co-founder Alan Howard in 2019.

Assets have risen to more than $30 billion, or about five times the lows seen in late 2018, while headcount has grown to more than 700. The $11.5 billion Brevan Howard Master Fund was down 5.8 per cent through May this year, according to an investor document seen by Bloomberg.

Howard started his investment firm in 2002 with four other traders from Credit Suisse Group’s proprietary fixed-income trading desk. The ‘Brevan’ part of its name comes from the initials of founding partners - Jean-Philippe Blochet, Chris Rokos, James Vernon and Natsis.