UBS O’Connor has tapped new hedge fund leadership following Kevin Russell’s stepping down as head and CIO of the firm after a seven-year stint at the firm.
On Oct. 1, Black Hiltabrand, co-head of event-driven strategies and co-portfolio manager of UBS O’Connor’s Merger Arbitrage and Event Driven Strategies, will become global head of UBS O’Connor, reporting to Barry Gill. Meanwhile, Bernard Ahkong and Casey Talbot have been appointed as co-CIOs of the firm’s flagship global multi-strategy portfolio.
Under Russell’s leadership, UBS O’Connor expanded its client offering with the launch of new capabilities in areas such as private credit and sustainability, officials said in a media statement. He will leave the firm towards the end of the year.
“Our O’Connor franchise is recognized for its 20-year track-record of innovation and focus on diversifying its fund offering to meet clients’ evolving needs. I am confident Blake and the O’Connor leadership team will continue to execute on this proven strategy,” said Gill, who is UBS Asset Management’s head of investments. “I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Kevin for his significant contribution to UBS O’Connor over the past seven years and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”
The $11 billion multi-strategy hedge fund firm resides within UBS Asset Management and has a global operating platform with offices located in New York, Chicago, Connecticut, London, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore.
Hiltabrand will continue to be based in Chicago and has worked at the firm for over 15 years and is a senior member of UBS O’Connor’s Management Team and Capital Allocation Forum. Prior to joining the firm, he focused on merger arbitrage and event-driven strategies at Deephaven Capital Management, Amaranth Advisors and Goldman Sachs.
New Co-CIO Ahkong is currently head of UBS O’Connor in Europe and portfolio manager for the European Long/Short Equity Team. He will continue to work out of London and will report to Hiltabrand. He had re-joined the firm in 2016 from BlueCrest Capital after having been a portfolio manager at UBS O’Connor from 2006 through 2013.
Talbot assumes the additional role of co-CIO and is currently head of credit strategies for the Global Multi-Strategy portfolio. He will remain in Stamford, Conn., and report to Hiltabrand. Joining UBS O’Connor in 2013 from Deutsche Bank, he has been a senior member of the UBS O’Connor Capital Allocation Forum for nine years.