Sometime in the late 1980s, Jim Simons went down to the crossroads. There he met someone – some say the devil, others have more outlandish theories – who made him a offer too good to refuse. No one outside of Renaissance Technologies knows what the tradeoff was, only that Simons took it. Since then, in RenTech's clandestine, pulsing center, Simons has run what is essentially a printing press, a fund whose fruits are too sacred to be shared with anyone outside of the company. It's called Medallion. It has minted $55 billion in the past three decades.
It's no wonder, then, that in those brief snatches of time when Simons decides to lift the window at Medallion and accept additional internal investments, employees move heaven and earth to get more cash in. So when an opportunity to add cash to Medallion opened up for a few weeks in December, even senior executives like our friend Robert Mercer made some, uh, extraordinary moves to capitalize on it:
Mercer’s allocation would have increased by at least $100 million, the person familiar with the situation said. He entered into a financing agreement with Meritage Group, a San Francisco-based asset manager overseen by Nathaniel Simons, the son of Renaissance’s founder, according to documents filed on Dec. 28 with the New York Department of State. Mercer and a trust in his name each pledged their entire Medallion Fund LP stakes as collateral, according to the filings, which don’t specify the amount of the loan.
Mercer, of course, is a rich man. He's probably not strapped for cash in the broader sense. But it's understandable that he may be hard up for liquidity, given all of his extracurricular pursuits in the last year. Getting a guy into the Oval Office doesn't come cheap.
But Mercer isn't the only one who took a trip to the bank to get more cash into the glowing money orb:
At least four other Renaissance executives got new credit lines from JPMorgan Chase & Co. around the same time, regulatory filings show, while a fifth added collateral to an existing financing arrangement with the bank.
At least they didn't have to borrow from their boss's son t0 pile in.