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Paul Allen's top money manager to leave post

SEATTLE (Reuters) - The lead money manager for Microsoft Corp co-founder Paul Allen is leaving his post this week, marking the latest in a round of high-level departures at the Seattle billionaire's Vulcan Inc organization, which handles his $16 billion fortune.

Paul Ghaffari, who has been chief investment officer of Vulcan Capital - Allen's private investment unit - since 2010, will leave on Friday, Vulcan said in a statement on Monday.

"We appreciate Paul's service at Vulcan and the contributions he made to growing and expanding our investments across all stages of corporate development," said Jody Allen, chief executive of Vulcan Inc and Paul Allen's sister. "We wish him the best of luck."

Ghaffari, who previously handled investments for billionaire George Soros and founded a fund firm later acquired by Morgan Stanley, was a high profile hire for Allen three and a half years ago. In his time there, Ghaffari has taken some of the credit for bringing order to Allen's technology, energy and equities portfolio.

Despite some early misfires, including the loss of billions of dollars on cable company Charter Communications Inc, Allen's investments are paying off lately, especially his property portfolio in Seattle's booming South Lake Union and his ownership of the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks.

Ghaffari will be replaced in the interim by Abhishek Agrawal, who currently heads Vulcan Capital's Palo Alto office.

His exit follows that of Allen's technology adviser, Parag Garg, who left the job recently less than six months after starting work at Vulcan.

Sue Coliton, long-time vice president of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, also left last month after 15 years working with the Allens on their philanthropy projects.

Allen, along with Bill Gates, founded Microsoft in 1975.

(Reporting by Bill Rigby)

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