Hedge Fund Highlights: Jeffrey Ubben, Paul Singer & Carl Icahn

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Success of ValueAct Hedge Fund Has Dented Its Maneuverability (Wall Street Journal)
Activist investor ValueAct Capital Management has long flown under the radar, working behind the scenes to turn companies around. After it nabbed a board seat at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) in August, the first time a shareholder not affiliated with Microsoft landed a director post, appreciation has spread notably beyond its investor base. Chief executives seem more willing to take calls, said ValueAct founder Jeffrey Ubben, a lanky former Fidelity portfolio manager who grew up outside Chicago.

VALUEACT CAPITAL

Billionaire Singer Gives Rove’s Super-PAC $1 Million (Bloomberg)
Billionaire hedge-fund manager Paul Singer donated $1 million to a super-political action committee advised by Republican strategist Karl Rove. Singer, who leads New York-based Elliott Management Corp., provided most of the $1.7 million that the super-PAC American Crossroads raised in May, according to a filing yesterday with the Federal Election Commission in Washington. American Crossroads, which is aiding the Republican bid to hold the party’s U.S. House majority and gain control of the Senate, has raised more than $11 million for the 2014 elections. Singer gave $250,000 to the super-PAC in March.

Icahn Insider Probe Expands With New Subpoena (FINalternatives)
Federal investigators have not been deterred by difficulties and setbacks in an insider-trading probe involving Carl Icahn, famed golfer Phil Mickelson and a noted gambler. Federal authorities in recent weeks issued a subpoena to Dean Foods Co (NYSE:DF), one of the two companies in the investigation, The Wall Street Journal reports. The request for information comes three years after the Securities and Exchange Commission sought information from The Clorox Co (NYSE:CLX) and Icahn.

US hedge fund billionaire to launch distressed debt IT (Investment Week)
US hedge fund billionaire Marc Lasry is planning to launch a distressed debt-focused investment trust for the UK market in September, Investment Week understands. Lasry is expected to seed it with several hundred million dollars of his own money, while J.P. Morgan Cazenove is tipped to act as a broker. Lasry has been meeting investment trust buyers over the past six months to canvass support for the launch.

Winton Capital pays out £150m to Harding and staff (Financial News)
Staff at Winton Capital Management, Europe’s fourth-largest hedge fund, have enjoyed a bumper payout after strong financial performance in 2013. Winton paid dividends on Class A shares – which are around 70% owned by founder David Harding and employees, according to a person familiar with the situation – of £93.7 million for 2013, around twice the previous year’s £46.6 million, according to a Companies House filing. The 2013 dividends come on top of £84 million in remuneration for the firm’s 281 employees, up from £69.9 million the previous year.

Patterson’s best idea (CNBC.com)

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