Soros Returns Capital, Avoids Dodd Frank

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- George Soros, the billionaire hedge-fund manager and philanthropist best known for breaking the Bank of England in 1992, will return capital to investors in order to avoid reporting requirements under the Dodd Frank reform act.

Soros will return money to investors by the end of the year, Bloomberg reported Tuesday, citing two people briefed on the matter. Soros Fund Management will focus on managing assets for his family, according to a letter to the firm's investors. Soros will turn 81 on August 12.
George Soros

"We wish to express our gratitude to those who chose to invest their capital with Soros Fund Management LLC over the last nearly 40 years," the letter to investors reads, according to the Bloomberg report. "We trust that you have felt well rewarded for your decision over time."

Initial media reports trumpeted the end of Soros' 40-year career as a hedge-fund manager, although the billionaire investor's firm is far from being done. Soros will return less than $1 billion to external investors, a drop in the bucket compared to the firm's total assets of more than $25 billion.

The reason? Under new requirements from the Dodd Frank act, hedge funds are required to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission by March 2012 if the fund continues to manage more than $150 million in assets for outside investors. The new requirements would call for funds to report information about the assets they manage, potential conflicts of interest, and information on investors and employees. The act allows an exemption for what the Commission considers "family office" advisers.

"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 letter continued, according to the Bloomberg report. "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."

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While less than $1 billion is small compared to the firm's overall assets, some positions will have to be trimmed through the end of the year. According to Soros' last 13F filling with the SEC for the quarter ended March 31, his firm's top 10 holdings included Adecoagro ( AGRO), InterOil ( IOC), Motorola Solutions ( MSI), Monsanto ( MON), Citigroup ( C) and Wells Fargo ( WFC), among others.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston.

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