A Secretive Owner of Triple-Crown Contender Justify: George Soros


Mr. Soros is one of the world’s most successful investors, who may be best-known for his bet in 1992 against the fortunes of the British pound. Mr. Soros is said to have made more than $1 billion by shorting the pound — a move that cemented his reputation as one of the shrewdest currency traders.

In recent years, he’s become better known for his support of philanthropic activities, and in particular, his financial support to liberal and progressive causes. He personally has given tens of billions of dollars to support the work of the Open Society Foundations, which he formed more than 30 years ago to support efforts to promote freedom of expression and human rights in 120 countries.

For decades, Mr. Soros was one of the more successful hedge fund managers — investing billions of dollars for wealthy individuals and institutions. Soros’s firm has spawned the careers of a number of other famous investors, but in 2011, he decided to shut down his then 42-year-old hedge fund and convert into a family office to mainly manage money for himself and his family. The move has rendered the investing decisions of the firm, which controls about $26 billion in assets, more opaque than ever as it is no longer answerable to outside investors.

But the fund continues to actively invest in stocks, bonds, commodities and currencies. The firm is also known for making significant private equity style investments and sinking money into more esoteric investment strategies and assets, like distressed sovereign debt, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and art.

Mr. Soros, now 87, has ceded more and more investment decision-making to the money managers he has hired to run the firm. A year ago, he hired Dawn Fitzpatrick, who had been a top hedge fund manager at UBS Asset Management, to become the firm’s chief investment officer. Mr. Murphy joined the Soros firm in 1997 and for a time served as acting chief operating officer.

China Horse Club is also an opaque group that has become a major global player in the sport in just five years despite a ban on wagering in mainland China. That SF is a partner with the club is somewhat surprising.

Mr. Soros was an early investor in China, investing $25 million in a stake in China’s Hainan Airlines, a regional carrier in southern China that had the backing of the Hainan government and sought to bring in foreign money in 1995. In the past, Mr. Soros has had outspoken views about China that have upset the political leadership. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in 2016, Mr. Soros compared China’s economy to the United States’ before the 2008 financial crisis. China’s leaders have also grown wary of the work and money that Mr. Soros has spent promoting democracy in politically unstable countries like Hungary.


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