Brevan Howard, one of the City’s best-known hedge fund managers, has kicked off a search for a US-based chairman, sparking industry talk of a potential stock market listing for the $23bn asset manager.
Sky News has learnt that Brevan Howard, which was jointly founded by the billionaire Conservative Party donor Alan Howard, is working to identify a new figurehead for the firm.
According to a recruitment advertisement seen by Sky News, the firm is looking for “a US-based independent chair to provide leadership and governance to its board and to help accelerate the company’s ambitious growth plans”.
It said the chosen candidate would have “an established and current track record within the broader financial services sector in the US and will have worked at the highest levels within such organisations”.
“The candidate will be well-known to, and have extensive relationships across, the US institutional investor community”.
One senior City figure said the process was aimed at getting Brevan Howard prepared for an initial public offering, although there is no suggestion that such a move is imminent.
One of its Jersey-based fund strategies is already listed on the London Stock Exchange.
In total, the firm manages roughly $23bn in client assets, according to insiders.
Brevan Howard is among a crop of hedge funds managing billions of dollars in assets which have become significant players in global financial markets in recent decades.
Founders of the most successful hedge fund managers have acquired rock star status in the financial world, earning billions of dollars for themselves, their employees and their clients.
Mr Howard has become an influential figure, partly because of Brevan Howard’s success over the last two decades, but also because of his growing interest in areas such as cryptocurrencies, where he has established a separate business, Elwood Asset Management, to oversee his interests.
Brevan Howard was founded in 2002 by Mr Howard and a group of colleagues from Credit Suisse.
He moved to live in Geneva before returning to London in 2017.
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In 2019, he stepped down as Brevan Howard’s chief executive, handing day-to-day leadership of the firm to Aron Landy.
A spokesman for Brevan Howard said: “Brevan Howard has no plan to seek a public listing.”
The firm has had an independent chairman for “many years” in the form of James Vernon, one of its co-founders, according to a source close to the firm.
The new chairman will replace Mr Vernon, with an appointment expected next year.