Soros promotes sons as succession plans take shape

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The Independent Online

George Soros, the 74-year-old billionaire investor and philanthropist, has promoted his two sons to senior positions within his fund management business, signalling his desire to put succession plans in place.

George Soros, the 74-year-old billionaire investor and philanthropist, has promoted his two sons, Robert and Jonathan, to senior positions within his fund management business, signalling his desire to put succession plans in place.

A memo sent to investors in the company, which has $12.8bn under management, said Robert Soros, 41, had been named chief investment officer, and Jonathan Soros, 34, had been appointed as co-deputy chairman of Soros Fund Management. Their father will remain chairman of the New York-based company.

Until now, the two have maintained a relatively low profile compared to the Hungarian-born financial guru.

However, like his father, Jonathan Soros has become involved with politics, and has been associated with MoveOn and America Coming Together, two groups campaigning for a John Kerry victory in the upcoming presidential election. He has also been working for the private equity arm of Soros Fund Management in the past few years.

Robert Soros, Mr Soros' eldest son, has also worked for his father before, though he has spent much of his career at other financial groups such as the German bank Schroder Munchmeyer Hengst & Co.

Mr Soros' promotion of his children surprised some observers, who believed that the high-profile appointment two years ago of Mark Schwartz, a 22-year veteran of Goldman Sachs, signalled his intention to look outside his family for the future leadership of the investment business.

Mr Schwartz, who signed the memo sent to shareholders, said the promotion of Mr Soros' sons was part of wider reorganisation, which also included spinning off the real estate, and buy-out businesses. "During the past year, we have worked to simplify the structure in order to return the firm to its core activity as a hedge fund manager," Mr Schwartz said. "To that end, we have decided to spin off two of Soros Fund Management's investment management teams as independent firms."

Businesses which are to become independent include the property team headed by Richard Georgi and a credit team headed by Steven Mnuchin. Mr Schwartz added that the company planned to separate off the private equity team as well.

Mr Soros has remained closely involved with the fund management company. A supporter of the Democrat party, he has also become heavily involved in the US presidential election campaign.

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