Renaissance Tech, Meet The Two Crazy New Bosses Who Might Close Two Of Your Funds

bob mercer and peter brownBob Mercer and Peter Brown

Photo: Jenny Strausburg/The Wall Street Journal

When the pioneer of Renaissance Tech, billionaire hedge fund manager Jim Simons, recently retired he left Bob Mercer and Peter Brown to manage the huge quant fund. According to the Wall Street Journal, the two are already changing things up. They might shutter two of the three funds’ doors to outside investors.

Currently Renaissance has three funds: Medallion, Renaissance Institutional Equities Fund and Renaissance Institutional Futures Fund. The latter two have been open to investors, but losses and withdrawls have left the funds wilted ($30 billion to $6 billion in three years).

So they say they’re keeping their options open, but the funds might soon be closed to outside investors.

“If we assess that it’s not something that’s going to sell, then we’ll decide it’s not good to be in that business,” Brown told the WSJ.

Who do these guys think they are? Well first of all, they’re both really smart. Here are some more interesting facts about the new heads of Renaissance Tech.

Fun facts about Brown: 

  • he has a Ph.D. in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University,
  • he is talkative
  • he is politically liberal
  • and he is really competitive. He is known for challenging employees to feats of strength in the office gym.
  • he frequently sleeps in the office and rides a unicycle around
  • he shared an apartment with Mercer when the two first moved to NYC after Renaissance recruited them from IBM

Fun facts about Mercer:

  • he is a member of the NRA
  • he is politically conservative
  • he has a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Illinois
  • he is known for whistling to himself during meetings and for not being very social. “I’m happy going through my life without saying anything to anybody,” he says.
  • He has a huge model of a toy train in his basement

Read more in the Wall Street Journal.

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