Hedge Fund Highlights: Stephen Mandel, George Soros & Philip Falcone

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Mandel Tops Best-Earning Hedge Funds for Clients in 2013 (Bloomberg) Stephen Mandel of Lone Pine Capital LLC made hedge-fund investors the most money for the second straight year in 2013. O. Andreas Halvorsen, who runs Viking Global Investors LP, and Appaloosa Management LP’s David Tepper ranked second and third in a study published today by LCH Investments NV in London. Mandel earned an estimated $5.2 billion for clients last year, Halvorsen made them $4.5 billion and Tepper $4.2 billion. The firms benefited from winning bets on companies such as Priceline.com Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN)The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (NASDAQ:GT) and Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) that outperformed U.S. stock market indexes, regulatory filings show.

LONE PINE CAPITAL

Soros’s hedge fund back on top (The Australian Financial Review) George Soros’s Quantum Endowment fund has reclaimed the top spot as the world’s highest-earning hedge fund of all time, adding $US5.5 billion ($6.14 billion) to the US billionaire investor’s fortune. Mr Soros is famous for taking leveraged positions in currencies, interest rates, commodities and soverign debt, based on potential macro events and in 2013, it’s understood that he declared gold was in a bubble and he played his cards well. Most recently, Mr Soros turned his focus to China and warned that the world’s second largest economy was on a dangerous path in terms of the rate of credit growth and leverage.

Harbinger Gets Independent Monitor (FINalternatives) A private-equity manager will oversee Harbinger Capital Management during firm founder Philip Falcone's five-year ban from acting as a hedge-fund manager. Jim Dunning, who leads Dunning Group, was chosen from five candidates by the Securities and Exchange Commission, whose settlement last year with Falcone called for an independent monitor. Falcone is barred from managing Harbinger's hedge funds, but is permitted to participate in the sale of assets to cover investor redemptions.

US hedge fund Libra Advisers buys 7.2% stake in Rubicon for $12m (National Business Review) US hedge fund Libra Advisors will take a $12 million stake in Rubicon in a private placement to shore up the company's funding position and support its future commitments to forestry biotech firm ArborGen. The New York-based investor will buy 29.3 million shares at 41.29 cents per share, the volume weighted average price over the last 10 trading days, Rubicon said in a statement. The deal will settle at the close of trading on Wednesday, giving Libra a 7.2 percent holding. The shares were unchanged at 40 cents, having dropped 4.8 percent on Friday, and have gained 5.6 percent this year.

Chanos's Kynikos Opportunity Fund Lost 14% in 2013 (Wall Street Journal) A boom year for many global markets produced losses for one famously pessimistic hedge-fund manager. James Chanos's Kynikos Opportunity Fund fell 14% last year, the largest decline in at least a decade, according to a document detailing fund performance. That was the second consecutive year of losses for that fund, which dropped less than 1% in 2012. The S&P 500 gained 32% last year, including dividends, which meant challenging conditions for many so-called short sellers, who bet against stocks. Most hedge funds, including the Kynikos Opportunity Fund, can bet on rising markets and also profit from falling ones.

Govt. has to get Steve Cohen: Zamansky (CNBC.com)

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