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Alternative Market Briefing

Head of prop trading at JP Morgan leaves to start own hedge fund

Monday, March 05, 2012

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York: According to a Financial Times report, Mike Stewart, JP Morgan's global head of proprietary trading is leaving to start his own hedge fund. Stewart, who is based in London will be starting a fund called Whard Stewart, in the second half of this year. He is expected to be bringing a team of emerging markets traders with him. The fund launch looks to be one of the biggest in 2012.

Stewart originally indicated that he would stay with the bank despite changes in the US regulatory environment for proprietary traders. Regulators in the US said they would delay implementation of several key regulatory provisions including the the so-called "Volcker rule," late last week. The rule essentially bans banks like JP Morgan from engaging in proprietary trading.

Stewart had recently been chosen to lead the bank's alternatives unit and will now leave that post open. The unit will operate within JP Morgan's asset management business in order to comply with the Volcker rule and be comprised of traders previously working in the firm's proprietary trading team.

Deepak Gulati, global head of equity proprietary trading at JPMorgan is also considering launching his own fund. JP Morgan has so far declined to comment on either Mr. Stewart or Mr. Gulati.

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