London-based startup BlueCove hired nine former BlackRock employees — in addition to 13 people from other firms — so far this year.
BlueCove was incorporated earlier this year by Hugh Willis, who is executive chairman of BlueCove and was co-founder and executive chairman of BlueBay Asset Management, and Alex Khein, BlueCove's CEO, who was CEO of BlueBay. Both men left BlueBay in 2017.
The former BlackRock employees and personnel from other firms will manage quantitative fixed-income strategies when the firm opens in the second half of 2019, its website showed.
Of BlueCove's 10 investment professionals, six are from BlackRock and most worked within the firm's systematic fixed-income team, which managed a legacy strategy brought into the firm with the acquisition of Barclays Global Investors in 2009:
- Benjamin Brodsky is BlueCove's co-chief investment officer. He was managing director and deputy CIO of systematic fixed income at BlackRock.
- Michael Harper is BlueCove's head of portfolio management. At BlackRock, he was head of core fixed-income portfolio management.
- Garth Flannery is head of asset allocation at BlueCove and was director of fixed-income beta research at BlackRock.
- Heather DeGarmo is head of product strategy and was a managing director in fixed income at BlackRock.
- BlueCove's head of credit, Benoy Thomas, was managing director- systematic fixed income at BlackRock.
- Ralph Smith is head of research at BlueCove and was managing director and head of research innovation at BlackRock.
As part of the build-out of BlueCove's investment technology capabilities, David Willmer was named head of quantitative engineering. He was head of alpha technology at BlackRock.
Aaron Critchley and Robert Ennis are quantitative developers on the BlueCove team. Both were quantitative developers on BlackRock's systematic fixed-income team.
BlackRock spokesman Ed Sweeney declined to comment about replacements for former employees who moved to BlueCove.
Blue Cove also hired investment and technology professionals from Citadel, Robeco Global, Goldman Sachs & Co. and Aberdeen Standard Investments.
BlueCove spokesman Allister Fowler said he could not comment on the exact timing of the hires. The firm still is actively seeking additional personnel, according to its website, including 2019 summer interns.
On its website, BlueCove describes itself as a "scientific asset management firm" that is bringing together "a group of leading fixed-income industry investment and engineering professionals, with the specific purpose of researching and developing state of the art scientific investment processes applicable to fixed income investment management."