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Newly formed family office appoints CIO

By Rashmi Kumar

Soros Fund Management, founded by legendary investor George Soros, has appointed former employee Scott Bessent as chief investment officer to oversee the family’s money.

The New York-based single family office also announced that Soros’s son Jonathan, who was co-deputy chairman, will step back from the fund’s day-to-day management, and will become chairman of the family’s foundation.

“Jonathan has spent nine years at SFM advancing the interests of our family and of the foundation that will eventually receive my estate… he has been the principal architect of our transition to a healthy and stable investment operation,” Soros said in a letter sent to employees.

His other son Robert is expected to remain in his position of co-deputy chairman. The changes in management come less than two months after Soros decided to close his hedge fund to outside investors and convert it into a $25 billion single family office. His letter added that the entry of Bessent and the exit of his son form a part of the fund’s “transition to a family office”.

SFM’s new CIO Bessent is well known in the hedge fund world as a former senior employee of the firm who oversaw Soros’s $1 billion (€732 million) bet against the British pound in 1992. Bessent was also head of global research and co-head of external manager selection until 2000, when he left SFM to start his own hedge fun Bessent Capital, raising around $1 billion.

The appointment of an internal CIO is in much contrast to the trend among other American family offices, which are increasingly outsourcing the role. According to recent research by the Institute for Private Investors, the number of American family offices outsourcing CIO responsibilities doubled over the last six years.

SFM, founded in 1969 by Soros, took the decision to become a single family office in July this year, as a result of new Securities and Exchange Commission rules that would have made it mandatory for the fund to register with the SEC by 2012.

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