November 6, 2015 / 7:58 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Hedge fund Brevan Howard lays off 50 support staff -source

(Adds October returns, overall assets under management for firm)

LONDON/NEW YORK, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Leading European hedge fund firm Brevan Howard has cut around 50 support staff across its global operations, a source familiar with the matter on Friday said, as part of a plan to focus on its flagship macro-economic funds business.

The move comes after a tough period for Brevan Howard’s roughly $20 billion macro hedge fund, which recorded its first annual loss in 2014. The fund was down 0.68 percent in October, resulting in a year to date loss of about 0.40 percent, performance data seen by Reuters showed.

In a statement issued by the company, Brevan, which has offices in several global financial centres including London, Geneva and New York, said it had cut the largely back and middle office staff following a decision to exit certain non-core funds.

The firm, which is headed up by billionaire veteran investor Alan Howard, made some high-profile hires earlier in the year to bolster its investment team, which specialise in bets on interest rates, currencies and fixed income markets.

These include Roberto Hoornweg, formerly global co-head of fixed income at UBS, Michael Lyublinsky, formerly global head of trading at RBS, Scott Eichel, formerly global head of asset backed products and U.S. credit at RBS and Pravin Mouli, formerly head of Latin American rates trading at Barclays Capital.

Brevan Howard has overall assets of $24.8 billion. (Reporting By Simon Jessop in London and Lawrence Delevingne, editing by Sinead Cruise and Alan Crosby)

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