Shrunken Merchant Commodities Cuts Staff

Feb 6 2013 | 12:43pm ET

Aisling Analytics' Merchant Commodity Fund has slashed its staff, its assets under management having plummeted almost 90% over the past two years.

The US$170 million hedge fund laid off five of its 15 employees last month, with cuts in both London and Singapore, Bloomberg News reports. Co-managers Michael Coleman and Doug King would not say who go the ax, but traders and analysts were among those let go. One of the employees moved to RCMA Commodities Asia, a physical-trading business run by Coleman and King. All told, Merchant Commodities now has two traders working with King, who serves as chief investment officer.

"We decided to get the headcount to be in line with the assets," King told Bloomberg. "We are committed to make it work."

Merchant Commodities managed as much as US$1.56 billion two years ago. But the fund lost 29.9% in 2011 and 7.6% last year, sending many investors to the exits.

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