Loeb’s Third Point flagship fund gains 6 pct in first half (Reuters)
Billionaire investor Daniel Loeb‘s main hedge fund returned 6 percent during the first six months of 2014, beating many rival managers’ largely lackluster returns but trailing his own performance from last year. Loeb’s $14 billion firm Third Point told investors that its Third Point Offshore Fund gained 1.9 percent in June, leaving it up 6 percent for the first half of the year. While the gains are not far off the S&P 500’s 7.1 percent increase and handily trump the average hedge fund’s 1.77 percent rise in the first half, according to data from Hedge Fund Research, they are nowhere near as strong as last year’s returns when his flagship fund ended the year with a 25.2 percent gain.
Pro-Emanuel super PAC raises $1 million — in just 10 days (ChicagoBusiness)
A new super PAC that aims to help Mayor Rahm Emanuel win a new term is off with a bang, having raised a cool $1 million in just its first 10 days of operation. A disclosure report filed overnight by Chicago Forward indicates that the political action committee received contributions totaling exactly $1 million from eight very well-heeled donors — a substantial down payment on the $5 million the group intends to pull in to help Mr,. Emanuel and his City Council allies. Heading the list of donors is Chicago hedge-fund billionaire Ken Griffin, who only days ago donated $2.5 million to the campaign of GOP gubernatorial nominee Bruce Rauner.
Altimeter Alum Aims for Sky-High Returns (HFAlert)
A co-founder of hedge fund operator Altimeter Capital is using another firm he started to launch an equity vehicle targeting high returns. Dennis Hong, who left Altimeter about a year ago, plans to begin trading the fund next month via ShawSpring Partners, a Boston firm he set up in early 2012. The new vehicle, ShawSpring Partners Fund, will launch with a $30 million commitment from Boston-based Sparta Group, the family office of Internet-equipment entrepreneur Gururaj Deshpande. Sparta’s capital will be deployed over a matter of months. The initial capital will also include about $4 million that ShawSpring’s clients agreed to move from separate accounts the firm manages.
SEC Brings First Whistleblower Retaliation Enforcement Action (JDSupra)
In announcing its first enforcement action for retaliating against a whistleblower, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sends a strong message to firms: it is serious about bringing charges against companies that punish employees for reporting potential securities law violations to the agency. The SEC recently charged a hedge-fund advisory firm with carrying out prohibited transactions and then engaging in a series of retaliatory actions against the employee who reported the misconduct to the SEC. The firm agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle both charges.
Jana Up 5.3% Through June (Finalternatives)
Jana Partners enjoyed modest gains in the first half, well ahead of the average hedge fund but slightly lagging the broader markets. The New York-based activist hedge fund returned 5.3% in the first six months of the year, capped by a 1.6% rise in June, The Wall Street Journal. By contrast, the average hedge fund returned under 2% through May, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index 6.8% in the first half. The $10 billion firm did not break down its performance by position in its monthly investor update. But its new investments are doing well: Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG) has returned 28% this year and AerCap Holdings N.V. (NYSE:AER) 21%.
Cliffs Offers Casablanca Three Seats on Smaller Board (WSJ)
Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF) +5.27% is proposing again a settlement that would give hedge fund Casablanca Capital LP three seats on a smaller nine-member board, the coal and iron ore producer’s latest attempt to avoid a proxy fight. A Casablanca spokesman wasn’t immediately available to comment. The hedge fund has been urging Cleveland-based Cliffs to split its U.S. and international operations. Earlier this year, Casablanca rejected a previous settlement offer from the mining company and instead nominated six directors to the company’s 11-person board.
Spear phishing attack costs hedge fund £1.5 million in March (Risk)
Hackers’ most common way of extracting big sums from hedge funds – a method known as spear phishing – is also the most successful and relatively simple, say cybersecurity consultants. Spear phishers email their targets pretending to be companies or individuals very close to the target. The email recipient only has to click on a link for the hacker to start a chain of command-and-control channels that can eventually lead to multi-million dollar losses. This technique was used to gain access to a large US hedge fund’s high-frequency trading (HFT) system and slow it down by fractions of a second, costing it millions of dollars in the space of two months, according to statements made by BAE Security Systems in June.