Highbridge Dumps Event-Driven Team

Jan 31 2011 | 3:38pm ET

It was a “difficult” decision, Highbridge CEO Glenn Dubin said during an employee conference call last Thursday, but the New York-based hedge fund firm has decided to let go its entire event-driven team led by Jason Erslaw.

Dubin said the decision was “no reflection” on Erslaw or his team, underlining that Erslaw had done an “extraordinary job,” particularly in 2008/20009. He pointed, however, to the significant amount of “overlap” between the work of the event-driven team and that of the hedge fund’s other teams:

“Our view is...that the that the area of event-driven investing—relative-value investing—folds into many of the other areas that we’re engaged in; fundamental investing, whether it be on the long/short teams’ focus on individual stocks...or some of the event-driven investing that has found its way into the convertible book and the capital structured book...[and] the credit opportunities business...”

Dubin said he felt Erslaw and his team were highly capable and would be “much better served as individuals and professionals to be able to develop that capability at organizations, frankly, that don’t have fundamental long/short investing and don’t have credit opportunities capability like we do.” Dealbreaker.com was first to report the news of the layoffs.

Highbridge Capital CTO Jonathan Zhukovsky will also be leaving the company, with CFO Christopher Hayward assuming both roles. Highbridge, founded by Dubin and Henry Swieca, manages an estimated half of JPMorgan’s $50 billion in hedge fund assets.

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