According to the Wall Street Journal, hedge fund Brevan Howard Asset Management, which manages $27 billion, confirmed that the firm has purchased a 25% stake in Penso Advisors LLC, an advisory firm that manages money for pension funds, endowments and large investors.
The New York-based Penso specializes in helping clients hedge their portfolios to protect them from crises, as well as identifying specialized investment opportunities. The WSJ source noted the deal called for Brevan Howard to get a share of any fees that Penso collects.
Neither firm was willing to publicly state how much Brevan Howard paid for the 25% stake. Penso will remain independently managed, according to a statement from Penso COO Jaime Shechter.
Penso, with an AUM of $3.1 billion, noted in its statement that it would benefit from Brevan Howard’s institutional infrastructure. Of note, Penso is run by well-known derivatives specialist Ari Bergmann.
Unusual move by Brevan Howard
Industry analysts point out that over the last few years, private-equity firms have become more active in buying stakes in hedge funds either directly or with funds they raised with that goal in mind. Banks have become notably less involved in the sector.
Hedge funds themselves have only rarely bought minority stakes in other investment advisers, although Brevan Howard has a reputation of strong relationships with various external managers.
In recent years, Brevan Howard has started new hedge funds with traders David Gorton and David Warren.
Warren left Brevan Howard to manage his own $6 billion credit hedge-fund firm, DW Partners LP, a while back, but his new firm does still receive a variety of administrative support from Brevan Howard.
Recent Brevan Howard results
Of note, Brevan Howard’s flagship fund suffered through its first losing year in 2015, closing the year with a 0.8% loss. However, the fund was up a solid 2.7% so far this year through February, according to a WSJ source familiar with the matter.