Michael Platt

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Michael Platt Personal PhotoMichael Edward Platt also known as Mike Platt, is a co-founder of BlueCrest Capital Management (UK) LLP – for a long time this has been Europe’s third-biggest hedge-fund. The lucrative businessman is the Chief Executive Officer, Director and principal of the systematic hedge fund that he co-founded in 2000 with Bill Reeves who later retired from the firm. Their headquarter offices are based in Guernsey, England. The company has additional registered branch offices in London, Geneva, Connecticut, New York, Singapore and Boston.

Career Beginnings

Born on 12 December 1968, Michael Platt grew up in Preston, England in a closely knit family. He joined London School of Economics where he attained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics.

Michael Platt credits his grandmother for his interest in the investment markets from an early age. He says he learnt trading in stocks from his grandmother who first gave him her own shares to invest in a trade. He made a good profit out of these, and discovered a passion in trading that he would perhaps never have noticed. It was the beginning of a good start to a long and successful career.

In 1991, right after college, Michael Platt joined JP Morgan and was given the Managing Director position responsible for relative value trading. He joined the firm at the same time as Blythe Masters-a lady highly credited on the Wall Street for her role in pioneering the credit default swaps in the market.

They attended the same recruitment training at JP Morgan and worked together for a long time.

In 1992, Michael Platt was given the task of developing J.P. Morgan’s swaps and options trading business. In 1996, he was promoted to the position of the Head of Trading for all swaps and products relating to all the founder nations on the deal to develop one European single currency—the Euro.

In 2000, he however decided to go solo. He left the fund and co-founded his own firm that same year –the BlueCrest Capital Management LLP. A company he worked hard to develop to become a household name in the investment circles in the world.

BlueCrest Capital

Co-Founded in London in 2000 by Michael Platt and Bill Reeves, BlueCrest Capital Management (UK) LLP has grown quickly to be a leading investment firm in Europe and beyond. The firm is estimated to manage over £30billion in investor assets and employs 350 people at their London office. The firm now has officially headquartered its offices in Guernsey .It also has registered branch offices in New York, Boston, Singapore, Geneva as well as London ,employing quite a number of people around the world.

As a firm, BlueCrest Capital Management (UK) has grown quickly since 2000 to become one of the biggest hedge fund managers in the European hedge fund world.

The firm has won many honors and several awards in the trading industry for their strategic approach to trading and its highly successful management skills of investor funds.

Owing to its success, over the years The hedge fund has won multiple EuroHedge awards, including the 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2010 Management Firm of the Year awards and has been nominated for several other future awards for its BlueTrend managed futures strategy managed by Leda Braga as well as its original flagship on the same under the leadership of Michael Platts.

BlueCrest Capital Management (UK) has been using technology based systems including computers to monitor and capture trends in bonds and commodities in the European market.

In 2013, it spread its wings to trade in stocks .The idea of the firm expanding into stocks trading, was a strategic move to compete with other firms involved in stock trading such as the Millennium Management LLC and SAC Capital Advisors LLP who were industrial leaders in stock broking at the time.

In 2011, Platt reportedly declined an investment offer from George Soros-a renowned investment guru, who wanted to stop managing money for outside clients at his firm and turn the hedge-fund firm into a family business. He spoke to Platt about it asking him to acquire about $1 billion for a 0.5 percent management fee and a 10 percent performance fee. Platt however declined the offer saying there were plenty of investors in the market willing to pay BlueCrest Capital Management (UK) a 2-and-20, which is the industry standard fee structure.

A Serial Art Lover

Michael Platt resides in Geneva, Switzerland. His love for the arts is evident in the wide collection of different pieces of art he has amassed over the years; he owns a multi-million contemporary art collection. He has been known to commission for development of unique artistic designs from well known talented artists rather than shop for pieces of art at galleries and exhibitions like everyone else. This means that he has had to pay double for his amazing art collection that features in his offices and at his home.

He built a private well designed private showroom at the deconsecrated church at One Marylebone. There he displays selections of art by different famous artists including, taxidermist Polly Morgan, Reece Jones, the Turner Prize-winning sculptor artist Keith Tyson.

His interest in art puzzled everyone including Art enthusiasts and drew interest from critics. He had to convince one man that he was not another wannabe-Art lover.

One critic said the first time he heard about Michael Platt’s interest for post-modern art, the billionaire was trying to sell a statue of a crucified gorilla. He went on to say that Platt’s interest in art was not genuine as he was just looking for a way to have fun after getting bored being a fulltime hedge fund manager; Platt did not want people thinking he was a money making machine that had given up on life.

The critic went on to say that Michael Platt pretended to like art because wanted to show the world that he was passionate about something and that he was not just a shriveled financial soul.

Michael Platts did not take these comments to heart, in-fact he ignored them as mere haters trying to scare him away from his love of Art. He continued to invest in art just like before.

After noticing Platts was not getting cowed but their criticism, one critic went too far: Famed art gallerist Joe la Placa-who was an assistant at the time to famed artists Lichtenstein and de Kooning went on an all offensive in criticizing Michael Platts. Joe la Placa is also known in the film industry after he co-wrote the Jean-Michel Basquiat film, Basquiat screen play.

When asked for his opinion of Michael Platts love for art, Joe La Placa’s said his first impression of Platt was that he was just a hedge fund guy that is bored sitting at his office and turned to art because he was just looking for a hobby.

And that people like Platts are the ones ruining the art world by trying to use their hedge fund strategies of buying art pieces t low prices and selling them at high fixed rates. He felt that anyone who treated art like that did not really like it; he had no real passion for it. He said he hated their “buy today and sell tomorrow” philosophy among hedge funds practitioners.

However, Joe La Placa surprisingly completely changed his opinion of Platt when he met him personally after a few years. He was later quoted saying that he thought Platt was a very fun, engaging and fascinating individual.

Since then, Platt has continued to demonstrate his love for art through organizing galleries and generally investing in art and culture around the world. These initiatives eventually silenced many critics that had been determined to discourage him; he had won all of them over.

All Visual Arts Gallery

Today Joe la Placa and Michael Platt have partnered in several art exhibitions. The two now own All Visual Arts (AVA), a contemporary art business through which Platt together with Joe la Placa discover talented artists all over the world and fund art projects that some talented artists couldn’t afford to do on their own, one like the like the crucified gorilla.

They then sell these pieces of art or hold on to the sentimental pieces. Their cool private showroom has been designed in the form of a deconsecrated church. In it is there are several pieces of art including the following:

• Skulls and heads
• Artistic stag heads
• Five-billion- year-old meteorites collected over the years
• An interesting black Christ sited in an electric chair
• An amazing illusion whirlwind in a glass box
• A cool set of Japanese girl riding a polycarbonate walrus
• Cute stuffed baby sparrows in a small coffin
• The emotional levitation of St John the Baptist
• And the famous crucified gorilla

Michael Platt’s love for art has grown on other hedge funders. Julian Robertson and Steve Cohen have since started their own art initiatives and have since set up their own equally interesting works of art galleries.

Platt is focused on not losing money, Dodd said.

“Mike’s fundamental philosophy when he’s trading his own book, is if a trade is going wrong, it’s going wrong, and it should be cut,” the CFO said. “As a result, when it comes to managing our business, we have tight stops. We are very rigorous on risk management. If we decide we don’t like a trader’s risk, then departures can be slightly abrupt, but the important thing is it’s a core part of our investment process.”

Michael Platt Market Wizards Quotes

“If the market is going up today, your forecast is going to be that it will continue going up because it is how you feel at the moment that is the most important thing. today become how you felt in the past because you misremember. So everything is about today. If it is going up today, it will go up tomorrow. In this sense, financial markets become self-referential.” – Michael Platt

“We run approximately $29 billion, which is about evenly divided between systematic and discretionary approaches. Interestingly, for the prior three calendar years, we made almost identical returns in both systematic and discretionary strategies, but with a better Sharpe ratio on the human side.” – Michael Platt

“I talk about macro themes a lot because they are fun to talk about, but it is the risk management that is the most important thing. The risk control is all bottom-up. I structured the business right from the get-go so that we would have lots of diversification. ” Michael Platt

“I look for the type of guy in London who gets up at seven o’clock on Sunday morning when his kids are still in bed, and logs onto a poker site so that he can pick off the U.S. drunks coming home on Saturday night. I hired a guy like that. He usually clears 5 or 10 grand every Sunday morning before breakfast taking out the drunks playing poker because there not very good at it, but their confidence has gone up a lot. That’s the type of guy you want – someone who understands and edge. Analysts, on the other hand, don’t think about anything else other than how smart they are. ” Michael Platt

“There are a lot of people that if you listen to their ideas, you can make more money off their thinking than they can. I troll around. It’s a treasure hunt for information. I talk to lots of people. Every now and then, someone says something, and I know I’m going to make much more money off of it that they will. There’s a big difference between shooting wine glasses at 20 yards and shooting a wine glass pointing a gun back at you.” – Michael Platt

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