Brevan Co-CEO Moves To Geneva, Opens Arms To Prop. Traders

Mar 14 2011 | 2:24pm ET

The co-CEO of Brevan Howard Asset Management has joined the firm's founder in Switzerland, and hopes he in turn will be joined by a horde of former bank proprietary traders.

Nagi Kawkabani has relocated from London to Brevan Howard's new Geneva office, which opened last year. Firm founder Alan Howard moved there last year to escape higher taxes in the U.K., and Brevan Howard has made space for up to 100 staffers seeking to leave London.

For his part, Kawkabani told Financial News that his decision was made "for lifestyle reasons." The Australian, whose wife is American, added, "It was an opportunity to live somewhere else."

Kawkabani has his eye on another opportunity, as well, telling FN that he hopes Brevan Howard, which has more than US$30 billion in assets, will be the first choice for top prop. traders fleeing banks in the wake of new U.S. financial regulations.

"I would hope that we're an employer of choice for macro traders," he said. "We have huge infrastructure and support, and we're recognized as a place of excellence in global macro."

"If talent is available and we can possibly accommodate it, then we'll hire," Kawkabani added. "At the moment, hiring is driven by the supply rather than gaps in the business."

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