Hedge Fund News: Alan Howard, Bill Ackman & George Soros

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Brevan Howard Aims for ‘More Satisfactory’ 2014 (Barrons)
Alan Howard of storied hedge-fund firm Brevan Howard calls the 2013 performance of Brevan Howard Master Fund Limited’s class-A shares “somewhat disappointing” in an investor letter, pledging to do better this year. The fund finished 2013 with an estimated 2.59% gain, according to the December shareholder report for BH Macro Limited: During the year, the Fund’s performance was predominantly driven by three major themes. The first theme was long the “Japan Trade”, namely the view that under Prime Minister Abe’s stewardship policymakers in Japan were finally committed to taking extraordinary measures in order to reflate their economy…

Alan Howard

Bill Ackman’s Campaign Against Herbalife Gathers Steam In January (Forbes)
Billionaire hedge fund manager William Ackman’s relentless short campaign against Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) -13.52%got a boost on Thursday after Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey fired off letters pushing the Securities & Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the business practices of the diet shake seller. Shares of Herbalife tumbled by more than 13% Thursday morning, trading below the $64 mark. The stock has had a tough January and also been hurt by recent news that Chinese regulators are investigating the business practices of another high-flying multi-level marketing company, Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE:NUS).

French seeder earmarks €30m for Paris hedge fund (eFinancialNews)
NewAlpha Asset Management’s Emergence platform is investing €30 million in Rcube Asset Management’s Rcube Global Macro Ucits fund, which is launching next week, according to a statement from NewAlpha. Emergence was created in 2012 by Finance Innovation, with the support of the Association Française de la Gestion, which is the trade body for the French asset management industry, and Paris Europlace. NewAlpha runs the fund selection process for the seeding platform, which seeks to encourage managers to set up shop in France. The first seeding fund raised more than $200 million from nine large institutional investors. Rcube is its fourth seed deal from 120 applicants.

Iceland Won’t Talk With Banks’ Hedge Fund Creditors (Finalternatives)
Iceland’s government is disclaiming any responsibility for striking a deal with creditors of banks that went under during the financial crisis. The country’s government will not meet with the hedge funds and others holding the banks’ debt, Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson. He said that the government’s only role is to determine whether the deal will allow the country to lift currency controls it imposed in 2008. “It seems they’ve been waiting to see whether the government would somehow step into the process,” Gunnlaugsson said. “But this is not a project for the government. The only role of the government here is to assess whether they come up with a solution which allows for the lifting of currency controls.”

Accused Hedge Fund Fraudster Arrested In Colombia, Indicted In N.Y. (Finalternatives)
A U.S. Naval Academy graduate defrauded his fellow midshipman as part of a $1.2 million hedge fund fraud, prosecutors said this week. Bryan Caisse was arrested on Saturday at an airport in Bogotá, Colombia. Prosecutors said he fled the country on a one-way ticket to Colombia after police searched his Manhattan apartment in October; Caisse’s lawyer said he was in the country to consult on a resort project. Caisse pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to 10 counts of grand larceny and one of scheme to defraud in Manhattan state court. Prosecutors said he collected money from friends and former classmates for a hedge fund, but used the money to cover personal expenses, as well as to make Ponzi-style payments to investors.

Investor requests to exit hedge funds fall in January (Reuters)
Hedge fund investors withdrawal requests in January were for a lower amount than last month, new data showed on Wednesday, as more clients stuck with their managers to navigate financial markets in the coming year. The SS&C (SSNC.O) GlobeOp Forward Redemption Indicator, a monthly snapshot of hedge fund clients giving notice to withdraw their cash, expressed as a percentage of assets under administration, fell to 2.67 percent from 5.9 percent in December. That was the lowest reading since January last year, when it measured 2.04 percent.

PWC: China business activity set for record year (CNBC)

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