Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Ben Melkman, a partner at hedge-fund firm Brevan Howard Asset Management, left the company this week to start his own fund, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Melkman, who joined Brevan Howard in 2009 and is based in Geneva, is planning to start the fund in New York in the first quarter of 2017, said the person, who asked not to be named because the matter is private. He is seeking $400 million to start and will cap assets at $1 billion during the first year, said the person, and the fund will focus on macroeconomic trends, taking concentrated, long-term positions.

Melkman was the senior trader for Brevan Howard’s dedicated Argentina fund, which had more than $500 million under management before closing last month. It produced net returns of 18 percent since opening to outside investors in January 2015. He declined to comment on the new fund and officials representing Brevan Howard in London didn’t immediately respond to e-mails seeking comment.

Brevan Howard has seen its assets decline from $40 billion in 2013 to less than $20 billion. The Brevan Howard Master Fund closed the first quarter down almost 1 percent after losing 2 percent in March, according to a company website.

Investors in Brevan Howard Asset Management have asked to pull about $1.4 billion from the firm’s main hedge fund, two people with knowledge of the matter said in April, as investors flee the industry at the fastest pace since the financial crisis.

Brevan Howard money managers Jonathan Matthews, who traded equities and currencies, and James Fauset left the firm in January, Bloomberg reported Jan. 26, citing a person with knowledge of their departures and records at the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority.

To contact the reporter on this story: Katia Porzecanski in New York at kporzecansk1@bloomberg.net. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christian Baumgaertel at cbaumgaertel@bloomberg.net, Michael Shanahan

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