JWM Cuts Staff In Wake Of Losses

Apr 29 2008 | 3:41pm ET

JWM Partners is shrinking in more ways than one.

The Greenwich, Conn.-based hedge fund shop established by Long-Term Capital Management founder John Meriwether has cut about 16 jobs—more than one-fifth of its total workforce—in the wake of big investment losses in the first quarter, Reuters reports. The layoffs come from across the firm’s departments, from support staff to portfolio management. In addition, two of its London-based principals have announced their retirement.

The firm’s $380 million Global Macro Fund is likely to have less than $150 million in assets after some of its nearly 30 investors take advantage of early withdrawal. Contrary to earlier reports, the early redemption period is not the result of Meriwether’s magnanimity, but comes only after an escape clause was triggered.

Under the long-standing right, investors are allowed to pull their money out if a fund drops more than 20% below its six-month high-water mark. The fund is down 14% this year; JWM’s other hedge fund, the $1.2 billion Relative Value Opportunity Fund, is down 31% through the first three months.

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