The Business On... Alan Howard, Founder, Brevan Howard

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The Independent Online

Um, isn't that a mountain rather than a man?

Well spotted. Mr Howard is one of those hedge fund moguls who guards his privacy closely and no photo of him appears to exist in the public domain. But were you to seek him in the flesh, Switzerland would be the place – he moved there last year.



A cheap deal on tax?

While he never gives interviews, sources close to him suggested the move was a "lifestyle choice". He's fond of skiing and Switzerland in general. Plus he has a French wife and bilingual kids. That said, relocating means no 50 per cent tax rate to worry about – tax rates for hedge fund managers in Swiss cantons are very low. And most estimates put Mr Howard's wealth at in excess of £1bn so there's plenty of money to protect.



So what's he up to now?

The hedge fund firm he founded and now runs, Brevan Howard, is about to return $2bn to investors. The firm has been so successful of late, that its flagship fund is valued at $26bn – it's starting to get unwieldy.



But aren't markets a bit tricky?

Not for Mr Howard – his master fund reportedly made $1.5bn during the first three weeks of August alone from investments in currencies, bonds and interest rates.



He's something of a star then?

Oh yes. Mr Howard, a graduate of London's Imperial College, made his name as a trader at Credit Suisse. That's the sort of thing that has been labelled as "casino capitalism". But when Mr Howard, known as a ferociously hard worker, takes a chance it tends to come up trumps.



How does he spend his cash?

The usual portfolio of luxury homes with all the trimmings, of course. But he also operates a charitable foundation and is known to support Jewish causes and homeless charities.



Any friends in high places?

He's a mate of the Chancellor, since you ask. Mr Howard was active in Conservative circles before leaving the UK and was a director of the Conservative Friends of Israel for some time – although he's no longer listed on its website.

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