Hedge veteran Soros to give up running external cash

George Soros is set to retire from managing money for outside investors after more than 40 years running hedge funds, citing Washington’s increased oversight of the once unregulated industry as a primary reason behind his returning external money to investors this year.

Soros Fund Management will continue to manage money for Soros and his family but will return money to outside investors by the end of 2011, according to Bloomberg reports.

Soros, 81 next month, is thought to manage less than $1bn in external money within his portfolios. He suffered badly in the credit crisis, when he resumed direct management of the Quantum fund in the crunch.

Much of the $25.5bn he runs is his own, financing his philanthropic activities. It is a magnitude more than the $4m he started with in 1969.

A letter to investors signed by Soros’ two sons, who are co-deputy chairmen at the company, added Soros Fund Management’s CIO Keith Anderson is to leave the firm.

The letter said the decision has been made because of new regulations that would have required the firm to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission by March 2012, if it continued to manage money for external investors.

The enactment of the Dodd-Frank financial oversight law in 2010 means the SEC is now able to require hedge funds to register as investment advisers.

Hedge funds with $150m or more in assets will be required to report information about investors, assets, employees, potential conflicts of interest and activities outside of fund management.

It is a far cry from the day in 1969 when Soros began in the business by launching the Double Eagle long/short stockpicking vehicle under Wall Street brokerage Arnhold and S Bleichroeder. Back then, hedge funds were unregulated and very private affairs for their managers and investors.

The Soros brothers, Jonathan and Robert, said Soros Fund Management would now “complete the transition to a family office that it began 11 years ago.

“We wish to express our gratitude to those who chose to invest their capital with Soros Fund Management LLC over the last nearly 40 years,” the letter said, according to Bloomberg.

“We trust that you have felt well rewarded for your decision over time.”

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