"During the past year, I have been the object of a great deal of scrutiny from the press. I have declined to comment on what has been written about me, imagining that with time the attention would dissipate. … That has not happened," Mr. Mercer told colleagues in an internal memo sent Thursday and obtained by Pensions & Investments.
In recent months, Mr. Mercer's personal political projects dragged him and his firm into the national spotlight. He is a prominent Republican donor and patron of Stephen Bannon, the chairman of Breitbart News and a driving force behind the populist, nationalist wing of the Republican party that carried Donald Trump to the White House, according to Bloomberg.
In a letter Thursday to the firm's investors reviewed by P&I, Mr. Mercer announced his decision to step down as co-CEO on Jan. 1, 2018.
He stressed in the investor letter: "Although I will relinquish my management responsibilities, I will continue as a member of our technical staff, focusing on the research work that I find most fulfilling. Peter Brown will continue as CEO and I will provide Peter with my counsel whenever he feels that I can be helpful to him and to the company."
He also noted in the investor letter that he intends to sell his ownership stake in Breitbart News to his daughters.
Messrs. Mercer and Brown both joined RenTech in 1993 and stepped into their co-CEO roles in 2010 when founder James Simons retired.
RenTech ran $46.8 billion in quantitatively managed hedge funds as of June 30.
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