Robert Mercer steps down from hedge fund, sells stake in Breitbart (Politico)

Robert Mercer steps down from hedge fund, sells stake in Breitbart

http://politi.co/2zaOkSt

Billionaire conservative megadonor Robert Mercer, a generous financial backer of President Donald Trump, is stepping down from his position as co-CEO of hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, according to a notice the company sent to investors on Thursday.

Mercer also announced that he will sell his stake in Breitbart News to his daughters "for personal reasons," according to a letter he wrote, dated Thursday and first published by Bloomberg News. He said his political views don’t always match those of Steve Bannon, the controversial former White House political strategist who has returned to Breitbart.

"I have great respect for Mr. Bannon, and from time to time I do discuss politics with him," Mercer wrote. "However, I make my own decisions with respect to whom I support politically. Those decisions do not always align with Mr. Bannon’s."

Mercer and his daughter, Rebekah, have been major financial backers of the pro-Trump site.

Robert Mercer also singled out Milo Yiannopoulos, the right-wing provocateur and former senior editor at Breitbart whose actions "have caused pain and divisiveness undermining the open and productive discourse that I had hoped to facilitate," Mercer wrote. Breitbart has come under fire for its ties to white nationalists and to Yiannopoulos.

In recent weeks, several investors in Renaissance Technologies had come under pressure from a liberal group that said it was opposed to racist news sites, and which was pushing them to pull their money out of the hedge fund.

The group, called Sleeping Giants, targeted Michigan State University and other pension funds invested in Renaissance, seeking to tie their investments with Mercer’s own in Breitbart and Yiannopolous — and, by extension, with white nationalism and bigotry.

The campaign took off after the liberal news site Think Progress published a list of investors in the hedge fund, including Columbia University, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

It resembled similar, successful campaigns against former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, who was ultimately pulled off the air after left-wing organizers targeted his advertisers.

The 71-year-old Mercer said he will depart the Renaissance leadership effective Jan. 1.

Politics

via Politico http://politi.co/2lnbIsw

November 2, 2017 at 09:32AM