Mixed 2007 For John W. Henry's Funds

Jan 29 2008 | 3:46pm ET

The year-to-date numbers are in for John W. Henry & Co. and the results range from pretty to pretty ugly.

First, the bad news: The firm’s International Foreign Currency Exchange program lost an estimated 30.89% through December, followed by its Global Diversified Portfolio, which dropped an estimated 15.39%. Performance in programs that placed “a greater weight on currencies posted disappointing results,” wrote Kenneth Webster, in his year-end wrap-up to investors.

“Most JWH models were able to capture profits in the liquid euro where the dollar decline was most pronounced, but suffered losses in many of the other world currencies.”

Adding salt to the wound, investors have reportedly pulled their capital out of the firm’s flagship Strategic Allocation program, which lost 4.76% last year and managed $67 million as of the end of December, in favor of the firm’s other offerings, HFM Week reports. A call made to Webster was not returned by press time.

In addition, Matthew Aptman, a former director in the investor services group at JWH, has joined the ComVest Group in a similar role. He joins the growing list of JWH defectors including Mark Rzepczynski, former chief investment officer, and former vice chairman Mark Mitchell.

On the bright side, the firm’s commodities trades were profitable on the strength of the energy and grain markets. The firm’s most diversified program, GlobalAnalytics, gained an estimated 18.68% while its newest program, JWH Diversified Plus, gained 24% in its first nine months of trading. And, of course, firm founder John Henry's Boston Red Sox won baseball's World Series.

“A large part of the year’s gains came from August to December and coincided with the decline in the dollar,” said Webster. “As the decline in the dollar gathered steam in the fourth quarter, most commodity markets were moving higher and contributing positively to JWH returns.”

As of the end of December, the former managed futures behemoth managed $297 million in total assets.


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