In an announcement that had the hedge fund community
buzzing, Robert Mercer resigned as co-chief executive officer
of Renaissance Technologies, effective January 1, according to
an e-mail he sent to colleagues. He will also resign from the
board of directors of the $50 billion computer-driven hedge
fund firm but remain as a member of its technical staff. Peter
Brown will continue to serve as CEO.
Mercer and his daughter Rebekah have received a torrent of
criticism for their support of Steve Bannon, President
Trump’s former chief strategist previously known
for his leading role at alt-right crusading website Brietbart
News, and Milo Yiannopoulos, the controversial right-wing
writer who formerly worked for Breitbart. In the e-mail, Mercer
said he has "great respect" for Bannon but agreed to sell his
stake in Breitbart to his daughters. He also defended his
support for Yiannopoulus, but said he is severing ties with
him, calling his support a mistake.
"Actions of and statements by Mr. Yiannopoulos have caused
pain and divisiveness undermining the open and productive
discourse that I had hoped to facilitate," Merver wrote,
explaining his support was to champion free speech. He also
criticized the media, asserting, "Of the many
mischaracterizations made of me by the press, the most
repugnant to me have been the intimations that I am a white
supremacist or a member of some other noxious group."
In the letter, Mercer reminded his colleagues that at 71 he
is the same age that founder Jim Simons was when he retired
from Renaissance several year ago. "I do not
plan to retire, but I do plan to relinquish my management
responsibilities," he stressed. Renaissance took in about $1
billion in assets in November despite reports that some
investors were unhappy with Mercer’s political
views. Its total assets now exceed $50 billion. Through
October, its three funds that are open to investors are up
between 10.5 percent and 15 percent.
Och-Ziff Capital Management
Group’s flagship fund continues to be among
the best-performing multistrategy funds this year. Its OZ
Master Fund rose another 1.75 percent in October, boosting its
gain for the year to 11.66 percent. OZ Asia Master fund fared
better, rising 5.06 percent last month and 24.02 percent for
the year. On the other hand, OZ Europe Master Fund slipped 0.39
percent last month, trimming its gain for the year to 4.39
percent. Despite the strong performance at the flagship and
Asia funds, firm-wide assets last month only rose by $200
million, to $32 billion.
Tiger Global Management participated in
the $100 million Series E funding of InVision, which offers a
digital product design collaboration tool. This is at least the
third time Tiger Global has made an investment in the company,
according to TechCrunch.
Shares of Apple jumped more than 2 percent in
after-hours trading after the iPhone and iPad maker reported
quarterly earnings that exceeded expectations. At the end of
the second quarter, Apple had at least 136 hedge fund
investors, tied for fifth-most, according to Goldman Sachs.