Soros Picks New Family Office CIO

Ted Burdick will succeed Scott Bessent as chief investment officer of the $30 billion wealth vehicle.

Soros Fund Management has named Ted Burdick CIO following Scott Bessent’s end-of-year departure to launch a hedge fund.

The appointment was announced in a letter distributed to employees and obtained by CIO. Burdick has been affiliated with George Soros’s firm since 2000, when he joined as an analyst in London. Most recently, Burdick led the $30 billion family office’s internal distressed debt and arbitrage groups.

Burdick replaces Bessent, who announced in August that he would leave Soros to start his own fund after four years as CIO. The hedge fund startup, Key Square Group, launched this week with $2 billion from Bessent’s former employer, and will manage $4.5 billion by the end of its first quarter, according to Bloomberg.

Soros itself was a hedge fund until 2011, when it closed to outside investors, and still operates like a hedge fund. Renee Neri, a principal at executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles, said the particular investment style of a family office can have a big impact on who would make a suitable CIO candidate.

“Given the platform,  one would need a CIO who deeply understands operating in a hedge fund-like environment,” Neri said.

In Neri’s experience as a recruiter, CIO positions at family offices like Soros can be very in-demand, depending on who the family is.

“Typically it’s dictated by the family, who the principal is, if it’s someone who has a marquee name, someone who is exceedingly respected, if they’ve done interesting things—typically, that draws a lot more attention,” Neri said. “The reputation of the office itself and the family, whether it’s been a stable environment—that is another factor people think about when they’re thinking about family office CIO roles.”

Once a prospective hire nabs the job, Neri said the two most important qualities of a successful tenure are trust and patience.

“The key to success in operating in a family office environment is the ability to establish a pretty quick trust-based relationship with the principal,” Neri said. “This is not your own P&L (profits and losses) that you’re managing, this is someone else’s capital that you are overseeing.”

Related: Soros Hands Gross $500M Vote of Confidence