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Dawn Fitzpatrick Leaves UBS for Soros CIO Job

Fitzpatrick, one of the most high-profile women in the hedge fund industry, is taking one of the most high-profile jobs in asset management.

  • Julie Segal

Dawn Fitzpatrick, who headed up UBS Asset Management’s O’Connor hedge fund business, as well as the division’s global equities and mulitasset businesses, is leaving the Swiss bank to become chief investment officer for Soros Fund Management, George Soros’s $30 billion family office, according to an internal memo.

Fitzpatrick had been a rising star at UBS Asset Management, taking over O’Connor in 2013 and promoted from chief investment officer to her current role in November 2015. At the time, UBS Asset Management combined a number of operations under Fitzpatrick as its parent bank sought to cut costs and increase profits. UBS declined to comment on her departure.

"After 25 years with the firm, Dawn Fitzpatrick has informed me of her decision to leave UBS to take up a role as CIO of the investment arm of George Soros' Open Society Foundations," wrote Ulrich Koerner, head of UBS's asset management, in a memo to employees. Koerner said in the memo that Fitzpatrick will remain with the firm until the end of March, and a successor will be announced at a later date.

UBS, like other Swiss banks, has been under pressure from Swiss regulators as they saddled banks with tougher capital requirements and other rules. Fitzpatrick’s departure is a blow to UBS, which has recently lost a number of senior executives. Blake Moore, head of UBS Asset Management’s Americas business, is leaving the firm early this year. Phil Casparius, head of retail distribution for the Americas; Curt Custard, head of global investment solutions; Ana-Ibis Seebrath, head of human resources for asset management; and Bob McGowan, head of third-party and intermediary distribution all left last year.

Fitzpatrick will be the seventh CIO for Soros since April 2000. Scott Bessent, his CIO since 2011, left to form his own hedge fund. In April, two portfolio managers staged a team lift-out after a disagreement with Bessent’s successor, Ted Burdick.

Burdick then left in August. Perhaps the best-known CIO for Soros was Stanely Druckenmiller, who quit in 2000 to form Duquesne Capital Management, which he shuttered in 2010.

The 86-year-old Soros has had a tough year. He bet big against various stocks and also bought gold. His bearish outlook reportedly cost the firm $1 billion.