John Henry, the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox, has fired more than a quarter of the staff at his hedge fund firm in Boca Raton, Fla., a result of declining assets and “the current market environment,’’ a spokesman told The Boston Globe.
As recently as 2004, Mr. Henry’s company had about $2.5 billion under management. Its current total under management is $188 million.
The dramatic decline of assets under management, however, appears to have happened during the financial crisis last year. Investors who were scrambling to get cash out of their investments had easy access to their holdings at Henry & Company, unlike at other hedge funds that were locking in investors for six months or longer when markets were falling.
His firm’s trading strategies are based on complex mathematical models he developed to follow price trends, replacing gut instinct with discipline in the investing process.
A Red Sox spokeswoman declined to comment on the state of Mr. Henry’s business or its effect on the ball club’s finances, The Globe said.
He developed a trend following trading model that he used as the cornerstone for JWH, which he opened in 1980. JWH made Henry a rich man; his peak estimated net worth topped $800 million.
His fortune would let Henry, a lifelong baseball fan, buy Major League Baseball franchise the Florida Marlins in 1999. He sold that ballclub in 2002 to purchase the Red Sox and break the “Curse of Bambino,” the eight-decade-long failure of the team to win a World Series.
The BoSox, under his stewardship, would succeed in doing just that, winning the championship in 2004 and 2007. JWH, meanwhile, had less luck.
In the global financial crisis, JWH went from a $2.5 billion company in 2004 to managing just $200 million. Henry is 60.