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Hedge fund Brevan Howard's Abu Dhabi office added 50 people in seven months

It's nearly 15 months since hedge fund Brevan Howard announced that it was opening an office in Abu Dhabi. Since that time, the fund has amassed 90 employees at its new UAE outpost, up from around 50 in September 2023.

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Brevan's 90 Abu Dhabi employees include a mix of portfolio managers, marketing professionals, salespeople, operations professionals and technologists. They manage $10bn of the fund's $35bn in assets.

The Brevan Howard Abu Dhabi office is run by Oualid Lashini, Brevan Howard’s MENA CEO. Bloomberg reported in March that the other local portfolio managers include Ville Helske, Louis Basger, Paul Shanta and Peter Meiklejohn. Hong Kong-based Kaspar Ernst and Singapore-based Minal Bathwal are said to "visit regularly". 80 people reportedly worked at the office at the time of the Bloomberg piece, implying that around five people have been added each month since. 

Brevan Howard declined to comment for this article, but it's understood that the macro portfolio managers in particular like to be based in Abu Dhabi because it straddles Asian and American time zones. Traders there can access Asian markets at the beginning of the day and US markets at the end of their day, without working extra hours.

Abu Dhabi isn't the only place where Brevan Howard has been hiring. As we reported earlier this month, its headcount globally went from 150 people in 2019 to 1,100 people in April 2024. After expanding, however, Brevan Howard has also been pruning underperformers: 100 people were cut this month (including 20 portfolio managers, particularly in systematic macro) and around 24 traders were cut in March. 

It's not clear whether any of this year's layoffs happened in the Abu Dhabi office, but Brevan is signalling its intention of expanding further there: it's just launched an inaugural summer internship program in Abu Dhabi. Around ten places are available on the Abu Dhabi internship, which is focused on students already living and working in the region.

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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