Passport Capital LLC, the $3.8 billion hedge fund run by John Burbank, laid off 14 employees, seven of them from investment staff. Passport, which slumped 18 percent in 2011, gained 3.7 percent this year through February, the people said.
“We made the difficult decision to do some downsizing of staff last week, reducing to approximately the headcount we had at the beginning of 2011,” San Francisco-based Passport said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.
Steve Bruce, a spokesman for the firm, declined to comment on the firings beyond the statement.
Passport, a multi-strat hedge fund, was founded by Burbank in 2000 and now employs 76 people, 34 of whom are investment staff, one of the people said. It invests in agriculture, basic materials, energy, financial services, health care, capital markets and the Internet, among other things, according to the firm’s website.
Hedge funds, which lost 5.8 percent on average last year amid concern the European debt crisis would worsen, gained 3.6 percent in the first two months of 2012 on expectations it would be contained, according to the Bloomberg aggregate hedge fund index.