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Moody's assigns operations quality rating to Brevan Howard Master Fund

Moody's Investors Service has assigned an operations quality rating of OQ1, the highest possible, to the Brevan Howard Master Fund, the flagship vehicle of global macro hedge fund manager Brevan Howard Asset Management.

This is the first OQ rating issued by Moody's to a European hedge fund manager, although it has already assigned ratings to several multi-billion-dollar hedge fund managers in the US since the launch of operations quality ratings last year.

Says Odi Lahav, head of Moody's European Alternative Investment Group: 'Moody's is pleased to assign our highest operations quality rating to the Brevan Howard Master Fund. This is the first OQ rating awarded to a hedge fund with a European-based manager, but other hedge funds are currently in the process of obtaining ratings. We expect this demand will continue, particularly in light of the current industry focus on governance and standards of practice.

'The fund's manager has invested significantly in its operational infrastructure and this is reflected in the excellent rating. The fund's OQ1 rating reflects its robust, comprehensive and independent operational and valuation processes and practices, as well as strong and extensive risk management controls and tight management of liquidity risk.

'Also, the rating recognises that the fund employs an independent administrator to conduct back office functions, while maintaining an in-house team of operational staff to support these functions.'

The Brevan Howard group is one of Europe's largest hedge fund groups, with assets under management of approximately USD15.8bn at the end of August. The Cayman-domiciled Brevan Howard Master Fund, which predominantly has exposure to global fixed income and foreign exchange markets, was launched in April 2003 and has USD13.8bn in assets under management.

Moody's determines the operations quality rating by evaluating areas including valuation process, service providers, accounting controls, regulatory compliance, risk reporting and control, legal and financial structure and human resources. The rating scale ranges from OQ1 (excellent) to OQ5 (poor).

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