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James Simons Retires from Renaissance

James Simons Retires from Renaissance

CEO James Simons Leaves Renaissance Technologies


James Simons, CEO of Renaissance Technologies, is retiring from the hedge fund business after more than three decades managing the fund.  Although he will not be CEO, Simons will remain the majority shareholder and participate in any corporate decisions.  The 71-year-old's departure was announced in a letter to investors this week.  Two co-presidents of the firm, Peter Brown and Robert Mercer, will take over as co-chief executives in the transition.
“I have led the organization and its predecessor for 31 years, and it is definitely time to pass the torch,” Mr. Simons said in the letter.
A prize-winning mathematician and a former code breaker as a consultant to the Defense Department, Mr. Simons has slowly handed more control of the firm’s operations to Mr. Brown and Mr. Mercer over the last six years to prepare for his eventual departure. Like many hedge funds, Renaissance had performance problems last year in its largest fund, the Renaissance Institutional Equities Fund.

When the fund was started in 2005, Mr. Simons hoped to eventually raise $100 billion from outside investors, which would have been the industry’s largest on record. Assets in the Institutional Equities Fund peaked at $27 billion in 2007, but have fallen more than 80 percent this year as investors raced to pull their money out. While it lost money last year in the financial crisis, the fund has not been able to pull out of its slump this year, despite the broad rally in the markets. It posted losses of 9.49 percent through Sept. 30, according to investors.   Source


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