AQR Capital Management is cutting jobs following a difficult year for the quantitative manager, during which a number of its strategies underperformed.
According to Bloomberg, which originally reported the news, the cuts will be firm wide but will only affect a single-digit percentage of the workforce.
An AQR spokeswoman said in a statement: ‘At AQR, we have experienced record headcount growth over the past three years, including 2018. Recent small reductions in headcount reflect the need to balance our workforce growth with the current needs of our business.’
She declined to comment further.
The quantitative fund management firm had 1,025 employees across nine offices worldwide, according to its website.
Last year was the firm's 2oth anniversary but proved to be AQR's worst year for performance since the financial crisis, with most of its funds losing money, according to the Financial Times.
‘It’s been surprisingly painful, but not as painful as in our first year,’ said AQR founder Clifford Asness in the interview with the FT. ‘We have faced similar, if not worse, periods before, and we still believe in our results.’
During the year investors reacted to the underperformance by pulling money from AQR funds. According to a Bloomberg report from November, investors withdrew $3.5 billion from AQR mutual funds and Ucits in 2018 through to October.
At the time AQR said one reason for the underperformance was a poor run for the value factor and other factors, such as momentum, failing to make up for this.