Hedge Fund Highlights: Ralph Whitworth, David Einhorn & Carl Icahn

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Relational Said to Nominate Two B/E Board Directors (Bloomberg)
Relational Investors LLC , the activist fund co-founded by Ralph Whitworth and David Batchelder, nominated two directors at B/E Aerospace Inc (NASDAQ:BEAV) before the aviation supplier postponed its annual meeting amid a strategic review, two people familiar with the matter said. Relational, which disclosed a B/E Aerospace stake of about 3.5 percent May 15, submitted Batchelder and Managing Director Matthew Hepler as candidates before this week’s deadline, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the nominations aren’t yet public.

 

Ralph V. Whitworth

Regis Philbin: I was Einhorn’s ‘best summer intern’ ever (MarketWatch)
Take note, you wannabee hedge-fund-summer-interns: the bar has just been lifted. The “hardest-working man in show business” is also the hardest-working summer intern that hedge-fund manager David Einhorn has ever seen. Talk- and game-show host Regis Philbin spilled the beans Wednesday on CNBC about his stint as an intern at Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital. The TV legend got the gig after impressing Einhorn with one of his stock picks — Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU). Philbin said he went to Einhorn’s New York office and met everyone, including Einhorn, who “happens to be a very nice guy.” One long chat later: “They thought I was the best summer intern they ever had,” said the clearly modest TV host.

Icahn Joins Ackman With Fannie, Freddie Investment (FINalternatives)
When hedge-fund managers Carl Icahn and William Ackman buried the hatchet in April after a bitter, decade-long feud, Ackman suggested that the two famed activists might one day work together. That day may be now. Icahn has taken a $51 million stake in government-backed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to regulatory filings. The deal puts Icahn alongside Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management, which owns an 11% stake in both companies.

Activist hedge funds launches surged in 2013 – Preqin (Reuters)
The number of activist hedge funds launched in 2013 more than doubled compared with a year earlier, data provider Preqin said on Thursday, as company boards come under greater scrutiny from their shareholders. Launches of activist funds, which take stakes in companies and use their positions to agitate for change, often through appointing directors, increased to 28 over the year, up from 12 a year earlier, and were at their highest level since 2007. The biggest activist hedge fund is New-York based Elliott International, with $15.6 billion in assets under management, Preqin said.

Fund Manager Sets Goats Grazing in Blighted Detroit (New York Times)
To most of the world, the solution to debt-ridden Detroit is money. But for one hedge fund manager, it’s goats. Mark Spitznagel, the founder of the $6 billion hedge fund Universa Investments, on Thursday brought 20 billy goats to graze among abandoned homes and general detritus in Brightmoor, one of Detroit’s most blighted neighborhoods. Not to be outdone by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), the country’s biggest bank, which recently pledged to invest $100 million to help Detroit over the next five years, Mr. Spitznagel says he is contributing directly to the community.

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