Henderson Global Investors has hired a five-strong currency team, headed by Bob Arends from the investment banking arm of Fortis, reporting to deputy head of fixed income Mitesh Sheth.
According to Henderson, the firm is planning to launch a quantitative currency hedge fund in the coming months aimed initially at institutional investors, once the new team has developed its quantitative model.
Sheth says: 'In a climate where available leverage is expensive, correlations are high and liquidity is at a premium, the opportunity for currency as an asset class in its own right will be advantageous in 2009 and beyond. Bob and the team are recognised as being one of the strongest and most experienced in the industry.'
The team consists of head of currency management Arends (photo), senior portfolio managers Dennis van den Bosch and Bernd Kraan, and portfolio managers Brieuc de Hults and Jill Rootsaert.
They will be based in London for around six months before moving to Henderson's Amsterdam office.
Henderson made clear throughout 2008 of its intentions to look actively for opportunities where it can lift out teams or make bolt-on acquisitions.
The hiring of the currency team follows closely on from its acquisition of an equity stake of up to 30 per cent in a fast growing, Australian domiciled alternative asset management company, Attunga Capital, in the second half of 2008.