Neal Shear and Jean Bourlot, former commodities head at UBS AG (UBSN), are starting Higgs Capital Management LLP, a commodities hedge fund in London.
The fund will cover energy, agriculture and metals, Bourlot said by phone from London today. Shear will be chief executive officer and Bourlot will be chief investment officer, he said. Neville Atha, who joins from Jabre Capital Partners, will be chief operating officer.
Enlarge image Former UBS Executive Neal Shear
Former UBS Executive Neal Shear
Commodity hedge funds raised an estimated $1.33 billion in the first two months of 2012 and assets under management stood at $85.1 billion as of Feb. 29, according to eVestment|HFN, a New York-based research company. Investors in raw materials tracked by the Standard & Poor’s GSCI index got a total return of 8.4 percent in January and February as copper and oil rallied, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
“Commodity funds haven’t necessarily attracted more new allocations, but have grown at a faster rate,” than other funds, said Peter Laurelli, vice president at eVestment. “The interest in the group comes from investors wanting exposure to hard assets and a decline in interest in directional equity exposures. Commodity funds have grown at a faster rate in 2012.”
Neal Shear was a global head of securities at UBS Investment Bank. He joined UBS in early 2010 and left March 2011. He spent more than 25 years at Morgan Stanley, where he was most recently co-head of sales and trading and had the responsibility across equities and fixed income. In addition, he helped to lead the firm into emerging markets through purchasing banks in China and Russia. Prior to assuming the role, Shear was one of the original founding members of Morgan Stanley’s global commodities business in the then-new areas of oil, natural gas, power and agriculture, and served as head of commodities business and trading. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, he was a trader at Citicorp from 1978 to 1979 and J. Aron & Company, the commodity subsidiary of Goldman, Sachs & Company from 1979 to 1982.
Read More: Bloomberg
Who is Jean Bourlot, the notorious agricultural commodities trader?
1) He’s a graduate of the European business school in Paris
Jean Boulot is French. As such, he appears to have gone to this Parisian business school. Surprisingly, it is not a grande ecole.
2) He started off trading oil at BarCap
Jean’s first job was as an oil trader at Barclays Capital. However, he went to Morgan Stanley in 1998 and appeared on FSA register there in 2001.
3) He became an MD at Morgan Stanley in 2007
Whilst at Morgan Stanley, Jean moved out of oil and into commodities. He became head of agricultural commodities trading at the bank and at the end of 2007 he was made a managing director. Throughout 2007 and 2008 Bourlot released dramatic prognostications about sugar prices, and he and his group made, ‘fat margins’ on rising sugar and grain by selling structured commodity products to pension funds.
4) He went into ‘retirement’ in January 2009
Since February 2009, Bourlot has been relaxing with his family. This relaxation has taken place in Sydney, where Bourlot’s wife is from. However, he has not been able to resist offering market commentary and managing his own money whilst there.
Read More about Jean Bourlot Here