PointState Capital said Josh Samuelson will leave the firm he co-founded with the backing of Stan Druckenmiller, following a year in which the hedge fund failed to recover from a double-digit loss in 2018.
Mr. Samuelson, 46, "has decided to retire from investment management," co-founder Zach Schreiber said in a letter to clients Friday. Mr. Samuelson will stay at PointState "for several months" during a transition, Mr. Schreiber said, and will remain an investor in the firm.
Zach Kurz, a partner at $6 billion PointState since 2017, will assume many of Mr. Samuelson's responsibilities and also become deputy chief investment officer, Mr. Schreiber said in the letter. Greg Ley, a portfolio manager specializing in industrials, materials and energy, is also leaving the firm to pursue an "entrepreneurial opportunity."
Mr. Samuelson's exit leaves Mr. Schreiber as the sole remaining founder of the firm that was started by seven former Druckenmiller staffers in 2011 after their boss closed Duquesne Capital Management.
The upheavals at PointState mark the end of a year in which several well-known managers have called it quits, and many firms have struggled to make money — a theme for much of the past decade.
PointState has fared worse than many of its peers. It lost 19% in 2018, in part from a wrong-way bet on oil stocks that tumbled in the fourth quarter.
While equities were the firm's biggest exposure in the first three quarters of this year, losses in other strategies, including corporate debt and currencies, eroded those profits. PointState's return this year is less than 1%, though it's gained 3.6% so far in December.
Since the end of 2015, the fund is down about 18% through the third quarter, even as global stocks have returned 45%.
Mr. Schreiber also said in Friday's letter that the firm had "selectively reduced headcount" to simplify the business and help generate the risk-adjusted returns that clients expect. He didn't provide further details. PointState had 90 employees as of November.