• Blake Hiltabrand to become Global Head of UBS O’Connor, with Bernard (Bernie) Ahkong and Casey Talbot appointed as co-CIOs of its flagship Global Multi-Strategy portfolio.
  • Kevin Russell will step down as Head and CIO of UBS O’Connor and leave the firm towards the end of the year.

London, 28 July 2022 – After a successful 29-year career in the industry, including seven years at UBS, Kevin Russell will step down as Head and CIO of UBS O’Connor, UBS Asset Management’s single manager hedge fund adviser. Under Kevin’s leadership, the business has grown significantly and continued to expand its client offering with the launch of new capabilities in key areas such as private credit, China and sustainability.

Effective 1 October 2022, Blake 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. He will continue to be based in Chicago. Blake brings extensive experience to his new role. He has worked at UBS O’Connor 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 worked at Deephaven Capital Management, Amaranth Advisors and Goldman Sachs focusing on merger arbitrage and event driven strategies.

Bernard (Bernie) Ahkong, head of UBS O’Connor in Europe and Portfolio Manager for the European Long/Short Equity Team, will additionally be appointed co-CIO of our flagship Global Multi-Strategy portfolio. He will continue to be based in London and will report to Blake. Bernie re-joined the firm in 2016 from BlueCrest Capital, having previously been a Portfolio Manager at UBS O’Connor from 2006-2013, and has been a senior member of the UBS O’Connor Capital Allocation Forum for six years.

Casey Talbot, currently Head of the Credit strategies for the Global Multi-Strategy portfolio, will also assume the additional role of co-CIO for the portfolio alongside Bernie. He will remain in Stamford and report to Blake. Casey joined UBS O’Connor in 2013 from Deutsche Bank and has been a senior member of the UBS O’Connor Capital Allocation Forum for nine years.

“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 Barry Gill, 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.”

Notes to editors

UBS Asset Management
UBS Asset Management is a large-scale asset manager with a presence in 23 markets. It offers investment capabilities and investment styles across all major traditional and alternative asset classes to institutions, wholesale intermediaries and wealth management clients around the world. It is a leading fund house in Europe, the largest mutual fund manager in Switzerland, the second largest fund of hedge funds manager and one of the largest real estate investment managers in the world.

About UBS O’Connor
O'Connor is a multi-strategy hedge fund manager within UBS Asset Management, with complete independence in regard to investment decision-making. O’Connor has over 40 years of institutional experience in trading and market making and 20 years’ experience as a hedge fund manager with a strong focus on relative value investing and risk management. O'Connor's capabilities cover a wide range of investment programs on behalf of institutional and high net worth clients. The firm has a global operating platform with offices located in New York, Chicago, Stamford, London, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore.

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