Tudor-Jones Hedge Fund Meltdown May Impact Everglades Foundation

by | Aug 19, 2016

 

Investor-turned-environmental activist Paul Tudor Jones has been forced to lay off at least 15% of his workforce at Tudor Investment Corp, according to reports in Bloomberg News and the Wall Street Journal. Jones’ firm, already facing steep investment losses, is now having to fight off investors who have withdrawn $2.1 billion so far this year.

Jones co-founded the Everglades Foundation two decades ago, and has used the organization to call for job-killing land buys in South Florida, using taxpayer dollars that would force the state to spend billions on 26,000 acres of farmland to turn it into a water storage reservoir. The plan failed, in part because it cost too much and would only reduce Lake Okeechobee water levels by a few inches at best. Still, Jones refused to let up, more concerned about restoration than the plan’s negative impact on South Florida farmers and agriculture jobs.

“If we miss this opportunity, we set back restoration 10 or 20 years,” Tudor told Bloomberg News last year.

Now, however, it looks like he’s got his hands full just trying to save jobs at his own company. From Bloomberg News:

Billionaire Paul Tudor Jones dismissed about 15 percent of the workforce in a shakeup at his hedge fund that’s reeling from more than $2 billion in investor withdrawals this year. Tudor Investment Corp., which oversees $11 billion and employs about 400 people, earlier Tuesday informed the affected employees, which include positions ranging from money managers to support staff, three people with knowledge of the matter said. The firm got redemption notices for $400 million this quarter, according to another person, after being hit with $1.7 billion in withdrawals in the first half.

It is unclear how the hedge fund’s losses may impact groups like the Everglades Foundation. Not only are they dependent on contributions from wealthy environmental activists like Jones, but they may also allow his hedge fund to invest some of their operating funds. In 2014, for example, the Everglades Foundation reported over $800,000 in “investments – other securities” in filings with the IRS. The Foundation’s executive director, Eric Eikenberg did not immediately respond to inquiries from The Capitolist.

But the Bloomberg story noted that some U.S. endowments, retirement plans and foundations have been forced to reduce their investments in hedge funds, even before Jones’ firm began to hemmorhage investors and cash. And while Eikenburg and the Everglades Foundation may not acknowledge the setback, Paul Tudor Jones himself did in a statement issued earlier this week.

“Amid a changing operating environment, we have made strategic adjustments to our firm’s staffing,” Jones said in a statement. “These difficult changes were made after conducting a deep and broad review of our business and are meant to optimally size the firm for future success. We are committed to treating our departing employees with care and support and appreciate their many contributions to Tudor.

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