Hedge Fund Boss Eyes $153 Million London Fixer-Upper Penthouse

Suneil Setiya, the co-founder of quant investing firm Quadrature Capital, is in talks to purchase a penthouse in London’s luxury One Hyde Park development for about 110 million pounds ($153 million), according to two people with knowledge of the transaction.

Setiya is buying the home from Hasan Ismaik, the former chief executive officer at Dubai-based construction company Arabtec Holding, which entered liquidation last year, the people said, asking not to be identified as the negotiations are confidential.

The apartment’s 14,000 square feet (1,300 square meters) interior does not yet have internal walls, is completely unfinished and will require significant further investment, the people said. Setiya did not reply to calls and emails seeking comment. Ismaik did not reply to a LinkedIn message as well as calls and emails to his investment offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

A deal would be one of the most expensive home sales in the U.K. and a boost for the stagnant central London luxury homes market, which has suffered from a dearth of overseas buyers and a preference for homes further out of the city during the pandemic. That caused sales of the properties to tumble 13% in 2020 from a year earlier, a significant blow after a series of tax changes and Brexit uncertainty had already damped demand.

One Hyde Park was developed by Christian Candy’s CPC Group and a company controlled by former Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jasim Bin Jaber Al Thani. The project adjoins the Mandarin Oriental hotel in London’s exclusive Knightsbridge district and is a five-minute walk from Harrods department store.

Nick Candy, Christian’s brother, took out a mortgage of 80 million pounds on the penthouse he owns in the development in 2018. The walk-in wardrobes in the master bedroom are larger than some new-build apartments and the home includes heated marble floors and a pedicure room.

A Land Registry filing shows that the home is valued at 160 million pounds, which would make it the U.K.’s most expensive apartment if it was sold.

“Super prime London residential property still provides significantly better value and safety for both domestic and international buyers compared to other major cities around the world,” said Marcus O’Brien, head of luxury broker Beauchamp Estates Private Office.

Setiya, who previously worked for De Putron Fund Management Ltd., and Greg Skinner co-founded Quadrature in 2010. Their technology-driven firm uses algorithms to make money. The company stopped running clients’ capital in 2018 to focus on managing about $900 million of the partners’ money.

A year later, they committed $100 million a year through 2030 to fight climate change, one of the most ambitious pledges in the industry.

Some firms, particularly in finance and technology, “have had record Covid years,” said Jo Eccles, managing director of Eccord, a London property management company. Wealthy people in those industries are seizing the opportunity to buy “significant trophy assets both in prime central London and the country,” she said.

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