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Ziff Brothers Shutting Down Their Co Owned Hedge Funds

The Ziff Brothers will now close their London based hedge fund after closing their New York one last fall.

Ziff Brothers - L-R Robert Ziff,    Dirk Ziff,    Daniel Ziff / Getty

The billionaire Ziff Brothers have announced that they are ending operations of their family run London investment firm, the last of their two hedge funds, a vehicle which invests the Ziff family fortune. This marks the end of twenty years of cooperative family investment.

Until now, Dirk, 50, Robert, 47, and Daniel, 42, grandsons of Ziff Davis Media founder William Ziff, have worked together and pooled their money when investing their respective fortunes. But they have recently found it more difficult to come to a common plan as to how to invest their money and so they feel that it is best to go their separate ways.

The brothers are said to have a good relationship and claim that their decision is not due to any falling out amongst them.

The decision to close the London based fund came after its manager, David Fear, announced his plans to leave. He is expected to take much of the London staff with him when he goes. Fear’s departure came after the retirement last fall of another of the brothers’ longtime managers, Ian McKinnon. That led the Ziffs to close their New York based fund.

The Ziff’s funds managed as much as $10 billion and tried to be stock market neutral. Most of the almost 400 people employed by the funds have already been let go.

The two funds were private. They did not take investments from anyone outside the family. But the Ziff’s money made them some of the largest hedge funds in the world.

Ziff Brothers Investments specialized in growth capital investments, investing in public and private securities. It made investments in India, Indonesia, Laos, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the Philippines.

The Ziff Brothers are now expected to invest part of their fortunes with Mr. Fear and his new venture. They also reportedly plan to seed new funds being started by other former Ziff Fund employees, such as former head of the Hong Kong office, Norwegian Gregard Heje, whose Kontiki Capital Management is expected to launch in June. The Ziffs closed their Geneva and Hong Kong offices late last year.

The Ziff brothers, Dirk, Robert and Daniel, set up their family office in 1992, after the $1.4 billion sale by their father, William Ziff Jr., of his Ziff-Davis publishing empire. In that year, the brothers provided seed money to fund manager and fellow billionaire Daniel Och in exchange for a 10% stake in Och-Ziff Capital Management, which went public in 2007.

Ziff Brothers Investments reinvested the proceeds in various securities including equities, debt, real estate, commodities, private equity and hedge funds.

Each of the Ziff Brothers is worth an estimated $5 billion.

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