Balyasny Cuts 125 People as Hedge Fund Bleeds Assets

(Bloomberg) -- Dmitry Balyasny is cutting at least 125 people from his hedge fund firm, about one-fifth of the total, as losses and client withdrawals erased $4 billion in assets.

The firm eliminated 13 stock teams, accounting for about 40 investment professionals, said people familiar with the firm. It plans to reduce the balance of employees from the back office before the end of the year.

Job reductions of this size are a rarity in the hedge fund industry. Chicago-based Balyasny, a multi-manager, multi-strategy firm, started 2018 with $11.3 billion in assets, and expects to begin next year with $7.3 billion, the people said.

The firm’s Atlas Global fund fell 3.9 percent in November, bringing year-to-date losses to 5.3 percent. A leveraged version dropped 5.7 percent in the month, and is down 7.9 percent for the year. That performance has lagged other multi-strategy rivals like Citadel and Millennium Management.

Prior to the job cuts, the firm had roughly 80 internal teams, or about 272 investment professionals, running strategies ranging from credit and global macro to quantitative systematic and equity trading. Most of the losses have come from equities this year, the people said.

Investment professionals leaving the firm include Arancha Cano, Jay Rao, Chris Chan, Rob Dishner, Feng Pan and Dan Orr, the people said. They all declined to comment or could not be reached for comment.

Balyasny, who founded his firm at the end of 2001, has told people that he expects to be able to improve performance with less money under management. The firm has hired several investment professionals who will start next year, one of the people said. A spokesman for the firm declined to comment.

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