Billionaire investor Robert Mercer, a backer of conservative causes and patron of former White House adviser Steven K. Bannon, is reportedly selling his stake in the conservative website Breitbart News Network to his daughters.

Bannon, who had served as Breitbart’s executive chairman before being tapped as chief executive of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, returned to work at Brentwood-based Breitbart after resigning as Trump’s chief strategist in August.

(A Look Inside Breitbart's West L.A. Headquarters)

Mercer is also stepping down as co-chief executive of New York-based hedge fund Renaissance Technologies and will leave the $50 billion hedge fund’s board.

Mercer revealed his plans in a letter to investors, reviewed by The New York Times. In the letter, the executive said he would remain active on the research side of the fund.

The letter to investors did not reveal a reason for Mercer’s decisions. However, the Times reported that in a separate letter to hedge fund employees Mercer cited the pressure of public scrutiny since Trump’s election and said he had chosen to distance himself from polarizing figures, including Bannon.

As quoted in the Times, the letter to employees said: “I have great respect for Mr. Bannon…however, I make my own decision with respect to whom I support politically. Those decisions do not always align with Mr. Bannon’s.”

Contact media and entertainment reporter Diane Haithman at Follow her on Twitter @dhaithman for the latest in L.A. business news.

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