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Soros to Quit Hedge Fund and Return Cash to Investors

"will hand back the money...by the end of the year"

Bloomberg is reporting some interesting news regarding George Soros: he's quitting.

The outlet says that the liberal billionaire financier is dissolving the non-family aspect of his hedge fund that put him on the monetary map:

[T]he billionaire best known for breaking the Bank of England, is returning money to outside investors in his $25.5 billion firm [and is] ending a career as hedge-fund manager that spanned more than four decades.

Soros, who turns 81 next month, will hand back the money, less than $1 billion, by the end of the year, according to two people briefed on the matter. His firm will focus on managing assets solely for Soros and his family, according to a letter to investors. Keith Anderson, 51, chief investment officer since February 2008, is leaving, said the letter, signed by Soros’s sons Jonathan and Robert, who are co-deputy chairmen.

The news raises a plethora of questions -- mainly, why? According to Bloomberg, the family didn't want to adhere to SEC reporting mandates that would have forced the fund to divulge information about its investors:

Soros’s sons said they took the decision because new financial regulations would have made it necessary for the firm to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission by March 2012 if it continued to manage money for outsiders. [...]

The rule calls for hedge funds with more than $150 million in assets to report information about their investors and employees, the assets they manage, potential conflicts of interest and their activities outside of fund advising. Registered funds will also be subject to periodic inspections by the SEC.

“We have relied until now on other exemptions from registration which allowed outside shareholders whose interests aligned with those of the family investors to remain invested in Quantum,” the executives said in the letter to executives, referring to its flagship Quantum Endowment Fund. “As those other exemptions are no longer available under the new regulations, Soros Fund Management will now complete the transition to a family office that it began eleven years ago.”

Still, there are plenty more questions. Is Sors wanting to concentrate on his politically-charged donations? Why just over a year from the election? Does this mark his formal transition from businessman to political activist?

The country might be wise to remember a phrase oft-repeated by Glenn Beck: "Watch the other hand."

One last thing…
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