Ex-Brevan Partner Wants Out Of Non-Compete To Launch Hedge Fund

Aug 11 2014 | 10:41am ET

One of Brevan Howard Asset Management’s co-founders is suing his old firm, seeking the right to launch a hedge fund of his own before 2017.

Christopher Rokos wants his five-year non-compete clause junked, saying that a bar on managing outside capital for such a long period is an unfair restraint of trade that could lead his skills to “atrophy.” Rokos, the “R” in Brevan, goes on to say that such a non-compete is “contrary to the public interest,” as it means the public will be “deprived” of Rokos’ “skills and hard work for period in excess of five years.”

Brevan Howard wants the Channel Islands court to uphold the non-compete, the Financial Times reports. It acknowledges Rokos’ skills and says that his past access to its investors “constitutes a significant and ongoing threat to the legitimate interests of the partnership,” and seeks damages for breach of duty and misrepresentation.

Rokos retired from Brevan Howard in 2012, 10 years after the now US$35 billion firm was founded, when firm head Alan Howard cut the amount of money he managed. He quickly set up a family office to manage his own fortune, estimated last year to be about £230 million. But there were always signs that he planned to manage outside money once again: Among the family office’s employees are several former Brevan Howard employees, including ex-Brevan partner Andy French, who serves as its chief operating officer.

The case will go before a Jersey court in November. Should Rokos win, his new hedge fund could be among the biggest launches since the financial crisis.


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