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Paulson's Hedge Fund Lays Off Staff

Paulson & Co. has dismissed employees as the hedge fund firm focuses on areas of business that are growing.

Billionaire John Paulson's hedge fund firm has laid off some of its senior-level traders and partners following a steep decline in assets under management.

The New York Post first reported Friday that Paulson & Co. had dismissed several employees, including head of trading Keith Hannan, head credit trader Brad Rosenberg, and partners Victor Flores and Allen Puwalski.

"We are rightsizing the firm to focus on our core expertise in areas that are growing," a spokesman for the hedge fund said in an emailed statement to Institutional Investor. He declined to comment on who was included in the layoffs.

Paulson has been rebuilding his firm, which has seen assets under management fall to $9 billion from a peak of $36 billion. The hedge fund manager, which captured the attention of investors with a hugely profitable bet against the subprime mortgage market in 2007, has struggled to make money in recent years, hurt in part by a large position in troubled drug company Valeant Pharmaceuticals International. 

[II Deep Dive: Paulson, Hemorrhaging Assets, Looks to Rebuild]

The New York-based hedge fund now manages $3 billion of outside money, according to a person familiar with the matter. In the past few years, Paulson & Co. has started new funds under its rebuilding effort, including the Paulson Pure Spread Fund, which employs a merger arbitrage strategy. The fund was up 11 percent in 2017 and has returned 3 percent this year, the person said.

Other areas that are growing for Paulson & Co. are the firm's European equity fund, which gained 8 percent in 2017 and is up 3 percent this year, and its credit strategies, which gained 10 percent last year, the person said. 

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