Thirty-eight employees in Tarrytown will lose their jobs soon when the $6 billion Blue Ridge Capital LLC hedge fund shuts down.
Founder John Griffin recently notified clients, “It is time to close our funds,” according to accounts by the Bloomberg and Reuters news services, “and for me to start a new chapter.”
Blue Ridge filed a WARN notice with the New York labor department stating that 55 employees would lose their jobs by the end of March, including the employees in Tarrytown and 17 who work at the fund’s headquarters in Manhattan.
Companies are required to notify the state and their employees before a mass layoff or office closure, under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice Act.
The company declined to comment on the action.
Griffin was a protégé of legendary investor Julian Robertson at Tiger Management Corp. – the Tiger Fund – for nine years. He founded Blue Ridge in 1996, with $55 million in assets.
The fund reportedly made a 65 percent return in 2007, and by 2013 assets had peaked at $9 billion. Citing Griffin’s letter to investors, Reuters said the fund averaged a 15.4 percent annual return, compared with 8.6 percent by the S&P 500 Index, for more than two decades.
But in recent years, hedge funds that hold a lot of short positions have found it difficult to make money as low interest rates, a rising stock market and inexpensive index funds have favored long investments.
“This can be a humbling business,” Griffin reportedly told his investors, “and many times we were tested, especially on the short side”