Ziff Bros. To Close London Hedge Fund

May 29 2014 | 1:07pm ET

The Ziff family, whose storied history in the hedge fund industry includes seeding a firm that still bears its name, is getting out of the business.

Their family office, Ziff Brothers Investments, will shut the last of their in-house hedge funds, run by David Fear in London. The three brothers, Dirk, Robert and Daniel, also plan to begin making investments independently of one another, rather than continuing with the unified approach they’ve employed since 1992.

The moves were spurred by Fear’s decision to launch his own hedge fund, The Wall Street Journal reports. Ziff Brothers said last year that it would close its U.S. hedge fund operation after manager Ian McKinnon’s retirement next year. The family office also spun off its commodities and long/short credit strategies last year.

As with those operations, Ziff Brothers plans to seed Fear’s new hedge fund, as well as other hedge funds founded by veterans of its hedge fund business. The family office has long been in the business of investing with outside managers as well as its in-house funds, having seeded Och-Ziff Capital Management in 1994, and counting ESL Investment, Perry Capital, Pershing Square Capital Management and Starwood Capital Group among its investments.

The Ziff brothers’ combined fortune is estimated to be in excess of $14 billion.

Most of the 300 to 400 people who worked at Ziff Brothers have left the family office or been laid off. Many of the hedge-fund employees are expected to join the new firms spawned by the closures, with Fear taking most of Ziff Brothers’ London employees with him.

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