JWH Cuts Staff As Assets Fall

Nov 9 2009 | 12:05pm ET

John W. Henry & Co. has laid off one-quarter of its staff as its hedge funds have struggled to keep up with the industry rally.

The Boca Raton, Fla.-based managed futures firm dismissed eight employees from “a cross section of the firm.” The layoffs at the firm, headed by Boston Red Sox owner John Henry, were prompted by the firm’s shrinking asset base and the “current market environment.”

JWH now employs 20 people. The firm, which once managed as much as $2.5 billion, now has just $188 million in assets under management.

The company has been overstaffed for some time relative to its size,” Henry told the Boston Globe.

JWH’s funds, like many commodity offerings, have lagged the hedge fund market rally this year, dropping between 6% and 21%. But that’s not likely to worry investors too much: The funds were up between 40% and 90% last year, when the average hedge fund shed close to 20%.

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