Robert Mercer Biography
Robert Mercer(full name: Robert Leroy Mercer) (born July 11, 1946) is an American computer scientist, who was a developer in early artificial intelligence and co-CEO of Renaissance Technologies, a hedge fund.
Mercer played a key role in the Brexit campaign by donating data analytics services to Nigel Farage. He is also a major funder of organizations supporting right-wing political causes in the United States, such as Breitbart News and Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign for president. He is the principal benefactor of the Make America Number 1 super PAC.
In November 2017, Mercer announced he would step down from Renaissance Technologies and sell his stake in Breitbart News to his daughters.
Robert Mercer Age
Robert Leroy Mercer is an American computer scientist, who was a developer in early artificial intelligence and co-CEO of Renaissance Technologies, a hedge fund. He was born on July 11, 1946, in San Jose, CA. He is 72 years old as of 2018
Robert Mercer Early life and education
Mercer grew up in New Mexico. He developed an early interest in computers and in 1964 attended a National Youth Science Camp in West Virginia where he learned to program a donated IBM computer. He went on to get a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics from the University of New Mexico.
While working on his degree he had a job at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base writing programs where, though he felt he produced good work, he felt it was not optimized.
He later said the experience left him with a “jaundiced view” of government-funded research. He earned a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in 1972.
Robert Mercer Image
Robert Mercer Daughter
Rebekah Mercer directs the Mercer Family Foundation. She served on the Executive Committee of the transition team of United States President-
She was running Make America Number 1, a pro-
Rebekah is married to Sylvain Mirochnikoff. They have four children. Mirochnikoff, a native of France, was a managing director at Morgan Stanley. We estimate the net worth of Rebekah Mercer at US$ 50 million.
Since 2018 Mercer and his daughter Rebekah scaled down support for the GOP and the White House. He’s no longer playing as big a role in supporting the Republican Party as he used to.
In 2016 he was one of the top 10 political donors, by giving just over $25 million to conservative causes. But he has not donated any funds in 2018. And he sold his stake in Breitbart News, the conservative online news platform.
Robert and his wife Diana Mercer own a large house in Head of the Harbour, Long Island, New York. The house is named Owl’s Nest. It has an estimated value of more than US$ 18 million.
Robert Mercer Career
Mercer joined IBM Research in the fall of 1972 and worked at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown, New York where he helped develop Brown clustering, a statistical machine translation technique as part of a speech recognition and translation research program led by Frederick Jelinek and Lalit Bahl. In June 2014, Mercer received the Association for Computational Linguistics Lifetime Achievement Award for this work.
In 1993, Mercer joined hedge fund Renaissance Technologies after being recruited by executive Nick Patterson. The founder of Renaissance, James Harris Simons, a quantitative analyst, preferred to hire mathematicians, computer scientists, and physicists rather than business school students or financial analysts. Mercer and a former colleague from IBM, Peter Brown, became co-CEOs of Renaissance when Simons retired in 2009.
Renaissance’s main fund, Medallion, earned 39% per year on average from 1989 to 2006. As of 2014, Renaissance managed $25 billion in assets. In November 2017 Mercer announced that he would be stepping down from his position at Renaissance Technologies. The decision was taken after the hedge fund faced backlash over Mercer’s political activism.
Mercer appears as a director of eight Bermuda companies in the Paradise Papers, some of which appear to have been used to legally avoid US taxes.
Political activities and views
In 2015, The Washington Post called Mercer one of the ten most influential billionaires in politics. Since 2006, Mercer has donated about $34.9 million to Republican political campaigns in the US.
Mercer has given $750,000 to the Club for Growth, $2 million to American Crossroads, and $2.5 million to Freedom Partners Action Fund. In 2010, he financially supported fringe biochemist Art Robinson’s unsuccessful efforts to unseat Peter DeFazio in Oregon’s 4th congressional district.
In the 2013-2014 election cycle, Mercer donated the fourth largest amount of money among individual donors and the second most among Republican donors.
Mercer joined the Koch brothers’ conservative political donor network after the 2010 Citizens United v. FEC, but Mercer and his daughter, Rebekah Mercer, decided to establish their own political foundation. The Mercer Family Foundation, run by Rebekah, has donated to a variety of conservative causes.
Mercer has donated to the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, the Media Research Center, Reclaim New York, and GAI. In 2013, Mercer was shown data by former Jimmy Carter pollster Patrick Caddell, who has been critical of top Democrats, and commissioned more research from Caddell that showed “voters were becoming alienated from both political parties and mainstream candidates”.
Mercer was the main financial backer of the Jackson Hole Summit, a conference that took place in Wyoming in August 2015 to advocate for the gold standard. He has also supported Doctors for Disaster Preparedness, Fred Kelly Grant (an Idaho activist who encourages legal challenges to environmental laws), a campaign for the death penalty in Nebraska, and funded ads in New York critical of the so-called “ground-zero mosque”.
According to associates interviewed by Bloomberg, Mercer is concerned with the monetary and banking systems of the United States, which he believes are in danger from government meddling. Mercer is a major source of funds of Breitbart News. He gave at least $10 million to the media outlet, according to Newsweek.
In 2015 Mercer also gave $400,000 to Black Americans for a Better Future, a conservative think tank led by Raynard Jackson. Since 2017 Mercer has donated $87,100 to the same Super PAC.
Mercer was an activist in the campaign to pull the United Kingdom out of the European Union, also known as Brexit. Andy Wigmore, communications director of Leave.EU said that Mercer donated the services of data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica to Nigel Farage, the head of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).
The firm was able to advise Leave.EU through its ability to harvest data from people’s Facebook profiles in order to target them with individualized persuasive messages to vote for Brexit.
It’s been reported that Cambridge Analytica also has undisclosed links to Canadian digital firm aggregate IQ, which also played a pivotal role in Domenic Cummings’ VoteLeave campaign, where he delivered an estimated one billion individually curated targeted adverts to voters in the lead up to the Brexit referendum, contravention of established voting rules.
Both VoteLeave and Leave.EU did not inform the UK electoral commission of the donation despite the fact that a law demands that all donations valued over £7,500 must be reported. In 2018, the Electoral Commission found the VoteLeave campaign guilty of breaking electoral law.
2016 U.S. election
By January 2016 Mercer was the biggest single donor in the 2016 U.S. presidential race. In June 2016, he was ranked the #1 donor to federal candidates in the 2016 election cycle as he had donated $2 million to John R. Bolton’s super PAC and $668,000 to the Republican National Committee.
Mercer was a major financial supporter of the 2016 presidential campaign of Ted Cruz, contributing $11 million to a super PAC associated with the candidate. Mercer was a major supporter of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign for president.
Mercer and his daughter Rebekah helped to get Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway senior roles in the Trump campaign. Rebekah worked with Conway on the Cruz Super-PAC Keep the Promise in the 2016 Republican primaries. Mercer also financed a Super PAC, Make America Number One, which supported Trump’s campaign. Nick Patterson, a former colleague of Mercer’s said in 2017 that Trump would not have been elected without Mercer’s support.
Mercer has said that the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the landmark federal statute arising from the civil rights movement of the 1960s, was a major mistake. In 2017, David Magerman, a former Renaissance employee, alleged in a lawsuit that Mercer had said that African Americans were economically better off before the civil rights movement, that white racists no longer existed in the United States, and that the only racists remaining were black racists.
In popular culture
Mercer was portrayed by actor Aden Gillett in the 2019 HBO and Channel 4 produced drama entitled Brexit: The Uncivil War.
Robert Mercer Personal life
Mercer and his wife Diana Lynne Dean have three daughters: Jennifer (“Jenji”), Rebekah (“Bekah”), and Heather Sue. Rebekah runs the Mercer Family Foundation. The three Mercer daughters formerly owned a bakery called Ruby et Violette.
Mercer plays competitive poker and owns an HO scale model railroad. In 2009, Mercer filed suit against RailDreams Custom Model Railroad Design, alleging that RailDreams overcharged him by $2 million.
Mercer lives at “Owl’s Nest” mansion in Head of the Harbor, New York. He has commissioned a series of yachts, all named Sea Owl. The most recent one is 203 feet (62 meters) in length and has a pirate-themed playroom for Mercer’s grandchildren and a chandelier of Venetian glass.
In Florida, Mercer built a large stable and horse riding center. He has acquired one of the country’s largest collections of machine guns and historical firearms, including a weapon Arnold Schwarzenegger wielded in The Terminator.
In 2013, Mercer was sued by several members of his household staff, who accused him of docking their wages and failing to pay overtime compensation. The lawsuit was settled, according to a lawyer who represented the staff members.
Mercer’s net worth is estimated to be hundreds of millions of dollars, and he is often referred to as a billionaire.
Robert Mercer Net Worth
Three Republican families, three visions
The influence of these three families offers a stark illustration of how extreme wealth can distort democracy.
Each family is closely tied to the Republican leader of one branch of government: Robert, Diana, and Rebekah Mercer helped propel Trump’s bombastic rise to the White House. Industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch funded the Tea Party and its protege, House speaker Paul Ryan.
And while casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam Ochshorn are on the party’s more moderate wing, they have long stood behind the calculating, conservative Senate leader, McConnell, who even before the Tea Party’s rise was known as an extreme obstructionist (paywall), dedicated to stomping out the bipartisan compromises that historically made the US government work.
The Adelsons favor pro-Israel policies. Despite their anti-regulation stance, they are keen to squelch the growth of online gambling and want to support moderate Republicans with a chance of picking up swing voters.
The Koch brothers have funded and organized a vast network of libertarian think tanks and grassroots movements aimed at sowing distrust of “big government” and climate science, the better to benefit their massive fossil fuel-heavy Koch Industries. There are other Republican donors who have spent more money, but Koch’s network gives them great influence.
The Mercers seem to hold the most extreme social views: Robert Mercer complained that the US started going in the wrong direction “after the passage of the Civil Rights Act in the 1960s,” according to a lawsuit filed by a former employee. He reportedly invested $10 million in 2011 into Breitbart, the news site run by one-time Trump adviser Steve Bannon, which regularly airs white-supremacist views.
Early last month, Robert Mercer quit the hedge fund he worked at for years and said he’d sold his stake in Breitbart News to his daughter, but he’s reportedly getting even deeper into politics.
Emboldened by Trump’s presidential victory, the Mercer family has been siding with extremist candidates for 2018 congressional races, hoping to wipe out incumbent Republicans and yank Senate leader McConnell from his seat.
In Nevada, another Mercer-backed Republican, Danny Tarkanian, is challenging incumbent Dean Heller for the 2018 midterms, on a platform of destroying McConnell.
The Mercers are also expected to attack Republicans in Mississippi, Nevada, Maine, and Michigan during the 2018 midterms who don’t hew with their extremist views. Many narrowly won their last races, and some, like Nevada’s Heller, failed to support Trump on the campaign trail.
American historians see a titanic clash on the horizon. What’s coming next is a battle between “the very idea of democracy, and that human beings are created equal” against the notion that power in America should be concentrated in the hands of a very few, very wealthy people, just as it once was in medieval Europe, predicts Heather Richardson, a history professor at Boston College and author of several books about the GOP.
Robert Mercer Net Worth
He has a net worth of more than US$ 500 million. In this article on Bloomberg, his net worth is estimated to be near US$ 1 billion.
Mercer Family Foundation
The Mercer Family Foundation is a private grant-making foundation in the United States. As of 2013, it had $37 million in assets. The foundation is run by Rebekah Mercer, the daughter of computer scientist and hedge fund manager Robert Mercer.
Under Rebekah’s leadership, the family foundation invested about $70 million into conservative causes between 2009 and 2014. The foundation has also donated to groups that reject the scientific consensus on climate change.
The foundation’s main interests are in the fields of public policy, higher education, and science. The foundation has donated to organizations and institutions including the Heritage Foundation, Illinois Policy Institute, Heartland Institute, and SUNY Stony Brook. Mercer provides funding to the Home Depot Foundation, whose mission is to “improve the homes and lives of U.S. military veterans and their families.”
Diana L. Mercer (born March 10, 1964) is an in the field of divorce mediation and founder of Peace Talks Mediation Services in Los Angeles, California. Mercer is also the co-author of Your Divorce Advisor: A Lawyer and a Psychologist Guide You Through the Legal and Emotional Landscape of Divorce. (Fireside, 2001).