UPDATE 1-John Henry to close commodity trading firm at year-end

Fri Nov 9, 2012 3:30pm EST

BOSTON Nov 9 (Reuters) - John Henry, who made a large enough fortune in commodities to become the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox, plans to close his trading firm to outside investors at the end of the year.

John W. Henry & Co Inc, based in Boca Raton, Florida, "has determined to cease managing client assets effective December 31st, 2012," the firm said on its website. "JWH will continue to engage in proprietary trading and research."

The firm did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Performance at Henry's firm has lagged over the past several years and assets under management have dwindled. The firm's JWH GlobalAnalystics fund, which invests across all kinds of commodity markets, for example, lost 32 percent for the 12 months through the end of September and an average 6 percent a year over the past three years.

Other top commodity traders have also decided to get out of the business of managing investor money this year amid tighter regulations and difficult markets.

John Arnold, who left Enron when it crashed in 2002 and made billions betting on natural gas prices, announced in May that he was closing his Centaurus Energy Master Fund.

And Pierre Andurand and his partners said in April they would shut BlueGold Capital, a well known oil-oriented fund.

Henry, along with television producer Tom Werner and a group of limited partners, bought the Red Sox franchise for $700 million in 2002. In September, Henry denied reports the team was for sale.