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January 25, 2017  

BlueCrest's Roach Building Fund Operation

A structured-products specialist who formerly worked at BlueCrest Capital has opened his own fund shop.

John Roach, who started out trading mortgage derivatives in the early 1990s, is now working from Cross Stone Capital of Purchase, N.Y, where several former colleagues from BlueCrest already are on board. Exactly when Cross Stone will begin trading is unclear, but Roach is setting up a fund that would take a relative-value approach to residential and commercial mortgage bonds, collateralized loan obligations and other structured products.

Given Roach’s pedigree, Cross Stone will likely get a good look from investors. Before joining BlueCrest in 2013, he spent more than eight years as a managing director at Deutsche Bank, where he oversaw a proprietary-trading unit called Deutsche Bank Capital Management. Before that, he spent more than seven years at RBS Greenwich Capital, preceded by stints at UBS and Prudential.

Roach was hired by BlueCrest to build up the firm’s structured-products trading business in the U.S. His New York team managed several billion dollars of assets, and there was a plan to carve out Roach’s portfolio as a free-standing fund within BlueCrest. But that was before BlueCrest founder Michael Platt decided to convert the London multi-strategy shop into a family office in late 2015. At its peak, BlueCrest managed some $34 billion, but was down to about $8 billion when it began returning investor capital.

At Cross Stone, Roach serves as chief investment officer. Joining him on the investment team are portfolio manager Neil Aggarwal, previously a portfolio manager and senior mortgage trader at BlueCrest, and senior analyst Ryan Biernesser, also a BlueCrest alumnus.

Overseeing fund raising is John “Chip” Montgomery, who previously headed product development at Premium Point Investments. Premium Point shut down last year amid an accounting debacle that forced the New York firm to restate net asset values for at least several quarters.

Brian McCawley is Cross Stone’s chief operating officer and general counsel. He previously served as BlueCrest’s U.S. legal counsel.