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December 11, 2019  

Brevan Howard Ties Up With Soros Alum

Brevan Howard Asset Management is again backing Adam Fisher, a global-macro manager whose capital-raising efforts appear to be rapidly gaining momentum.

The arrangement saw Brevan Howard buy a minority stake in Commonwealth Asset Management, a Los Angeles firm that Fisher began setting up upon his January 2019 exit from Soros Fund Management. While terms of the deal remain unclear, indications are that the injection is substantial.

Fisher, meanwhile, has zeroed in on January 2020 to launch a macro hedge fund with $800 million. And he already has raised initial capital for a real estate vehicle. That would be in addition to capital that he had thought would be coming from Soros via a separate account — but that after months of negotiation has yet to arrive.

Fisher earlier ran a $2 billion firm called CommonWealth Opportunity Capital that counted Brevan Howard as a backer. In 2017, he shuttered that operation to join Soros. But Fisher’s time there ended this January after chief investment officer Dawn Fitzpatrick, who had recruited him, cut his allocation due to a 2% loss within his portfolio, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Journal additionally reported that under Fisher’s employment agreement with Soros, the firm would supply him with up to $1.5 billion for a new fund if his job there didn’t pan out.

Commonwealth’s dual focus on macro and real estate strategies mirrors Fisher’s coverage areas at Soros. And as Fisher did through CommonWealth Opportunity, he plans to offer limited partners a variety of co-investment opportunities.

On the macro side, Fisher been speaking to investors about a vehicle called Commonwealth Asset Management Global Macro Master Fund. Early commitments would go into a founders share class with fees equal to 1% of assets and 15% of profits, with a standard class charging 1.5% and 20%.

Commonwealth’s real estate strategy remains fuzzy, but is known to focus on illiquid assets. Working with Fisher in that area is managing director Peter Rumbold, who had been working to build up a real estate business at Soros from January 2018 to January 2019. Rumbold’s resume also includes a stop as head of acquisitions at Winter Properties and earlier stints at Cerberus Capital and Sterling Equities.

Also on board at Commonwealth are operations and risk-analysis head Russell Morrell and president Natalie Faye Smith. Both most recently worked at Arts & Sciences Investment, having earlier spent time at CommonWealth Opportunity.

As for Brevan Howard, founder Alan Howard was a day-one investor with CommonWealth Opportunity Capital, which Fisher formed in 2008. And in 2015, Brevan Howard bought a stake of 10-25% in that operation. It’s unclear if the London macro firm has taken a minority stake in any other manager. However, it has supplied startup capital to employees who have left to start their own funds.

Alan Howard stepped down as the $7.5 billion operation’s chief executive in November, but continues to work on its investments. Risk chief Aron Landy has taken over as chief executive.