Ex-IKOS CIO Opens Hedge Fund To Investors

Feb 28 2014 | 10:50am ET

IKOS Asset Management co-founder Martin Coward has begun accepting outside money for his quantitative hedge fund.

Coward’s Malta-based dormouse has been trading since July 2011 with the former Goldman Sachs trader’s own money and that of two other investors, who have not been identified. During most of that time, Coward has been battling his estranged wife, IKOS chief Elena Ambrosiadou in court; the two filed more than 40 lawsuits against each other in four countries, alleging spying, theft and all other manner of misdeeds.

The heart of the dispute, however, is IKOS’ proprietary trading software, which Coward says he created and which IKOS says he stole. Last year, a British judge found that IKOS owned the copyright on the software.

With that settled, Coward is ready to take on investors. He told Bloomberg News that dormouse, which currently manages US$270 million, hopes to grow to about US$1 billion within three years.

“We’re not expecting to be overwhelmed,” he said. “Obviously, it’s a difficult moment for” commodity trading advisers. “We want to keep it relatively small.”

Coward said that dormouse currently employs 10, but plans to double in size, and will open an office in London to house marketing employees and research analysts.

The firm returned 6% in the second half of 2011 and 18% in 2012, before losing 6% last year.

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