JWH’s Vice Chairman Departs

Apr 11 2007 | 12:09pm ET

Downtrodden commodity trading advisor John W. Henry & Co. lost another key member of its front office last month with the departure of former vice chairman Mark Mitchell, whose contract expired at the end of March. Mitchell, who joined the firm in 1994, was responsible for the “general coordination of different parts of the company,” overseeing the firm’s management, according to spokesman David Kozak. 

“There are no current plans to replace Mark Mitchell because it was a position created specifically for him when he joined the firm,” said Kozak.

There aren’t any hard feelings here: Mitchell left to join New England Sports Ventures, JWH founder John Henry’s holding company that owns the Boston Red Sox.

Still, this is the second high-level executive departure at the firm this year. In January, Chief Investment Officer Mark Rzepczynski left over issues concerning volatility and client retention.

Rzepczynski’s departure has done little to stem the growing volatility within JWH’s portoflio, evidenced by March performance estimates. All of the firm’s eight programs were down, with the Global Diversified Portfolio and the Financials and Metals Portfolio plummeting 12.87% and 12.56%, respectively.

Mitchell, for his part, has moved on to the arguably more successful side of the John Henry empire: The Red Sox, at 4-3, are in a three-way tie for first place in the American League East. Then again, with 155 games let to play, he’ll probably have to deal with volatility in the standings as well.

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