UPDATE 1-Co-founder Rokos to leave hedge fund Brevan Howard
By Laurence Fletcher and Tommy Wilkes
LONDON Aug 16 (Reuters) - A co-founder of Brevan Howard, one of the world's biggest and most successful hedge fund managers, is leaving the firm this month.
Chris Rokos, a star trader on the firm's $25 billion flagship Master fund and who has worked with founder Alan Howard for more than 10 years, is to stop trading at the end of August, founding partner Nagi Kawkabani told Reuters on Thursday.
"Chris, one of the founding partners, has decided to retire from the partnership, it's all very amicable," Kawkabani said.
"It's a decision that's been taken within the partnership. There's been no acrimony whatsoever, and he's not leaving because of trading losses."
It is not clear what Rokos plans to do after leaving, but two sources familiar with the situation said he is considering launching his own hedge fund.
Rokos, a senior interest rate trader who worked with Alan Howard at Credit Suisse, has been a big profit generator for the firm's flagship Master fund. However, the strategy of trying to profit from discrepancies in bond prices has been tougher for many hedge funds recently.
Three sources familiar with the situation told Reuters Rokos had seen the amount of capital Brevan allocates him for trading cut this year. Some hedge funds may cut back a trader's capital if they suffer losses.
Kawkabani said there were still plenty of money-making opportunities in fixed income relative value trading as "forward curves are as volatile now as when rates were above 5 percent".
He added that Rokos's capital would be spread amongst the more than 60 traders that work on the fund.
Rokos is the joint 329th richest person in Britain with an estimated fortune of 230 million pounds ($362 million), according to this year's Sunday Times Rich List.
In 2007, he hit the headlines when the UK's Daily Mail reported he had spent 18 million pounds on a run-down hotel in Kensington and put in an application to add a gym, home cinema, open air pool and climbing wall.
Last year the Master fund, which has never had a losing year and which made 21 percent in the market turmoil of 2008, rose 12.2 percent. So far this year it is down 0.8 percent.
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