On Thursday, Robert Mercer stated his plans to withdraw himself as co-chief executive of the hedge fund firm Renaissance Technologies and sell his stake of Breitbart News to his children.
Mercer provided financial support to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign as well as advisement with his daughter, Rebekah, whom together suggested the hiring of Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway.
Mercer intends to hand the position over to co-Chief Executive Peter Brown this January after eight years of leading the firm. Mercer stated he is not retiring and plans to stay active in research.
Renaissance was founded by mathematician James Simons 35 years ago and is deemed one of the hedge fund industry’s most successful firms. The firm’s three portfolios accessible to external investors have seen double digit increases this year, better than the 6 percent gains seen by other hedge funds.
Mercer is seeking distance from Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist who assisted in influencing Trump’s populist position. Mercer added he is also cutting ties with former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos. His decision to sell his stake in Breitbart News was said to be “personal”.
“My goal is simply to explain my thinking, the very essence of which is that all of us should think for ourselves,” he said. He believes that society would advance more effectively with a smaller government as people would make their own decisions.
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Adding that he is not a racist, “Discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, creed, or anything of that sort is abhorrent to me. But more than that, it is ignorant” he said.
Mercer spoke on the allegations that his politics are similiar Bannon’s, “I have great respect for Mr. Bannon, and from time to time I do discuss politics with him. However, I make my own decisions with respect to whom I support politically”.