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Hedge Fund News: David Harding, Steve Cohen, Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (ABX)

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Related tickers: Agrium Inc. (USA) (NYSE:AGU), Consolidated Edison, Inc. (NYSE:ED), Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX)

AT&T Inc. (T), Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ): Billionaire David Harding’s 4% Yield and Higher Favorites (Insider Monkey)
David HardingRead on for five of billionaire David Harding’s Winton Capital Management’s top picks as of the end of December with dividend yields of 4% or higher. The fund’s largest holding by market value was its approximately 780,000 shares of Consolidated Edison, Inc. (NYSE:ED). The $18 billion market cap utility pays a dividend yield of 4% at current prices and dividend levels. As might be expected for a utility the stock’s beta is also low, at 0.1, making Consolidated Edison, Inc. (NYSE:ED) a decent choice for defensive investors as well.

The Henry Curse: A New Sports Jinx Hits Hedge Fund Team Owners (Forbes)
In 2002 John Henry, one of America’s most successful hedge fund managers, bought the principal stake in the the Boston Red Sox. Two years later the baseball team broke the “Curse of the Bambino,” winning the World Series for the first time in 86 years. The Red Sox won another World Series under Henry’s ownership in 2007 and later Henry purchased a majority stake in the Liverpool Football Club. But while Henry collected sports trophies, a process that started in 1999 when he bought the Florida Marlins, his money management firm tanked. Henry founded John W. Henry & Co. in the early 1980s, a hugely successful commodities trading firm.

Billionaire Jeffrey Vinik’s dividend stock picks (MarketWatch)
Vinik’s largest single-stock holding was Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX) at a position of 2.7 million shares. The gold miner’s share price has fallen 34% in the last year as market conditions have worsened; with the company paying a quarterly dividend of 20 cents per share, the yield stands at 3%. Of course, given how sensitive Barrick is to gold prices it is possible that the dividend could be cut. We’d note that Vinik owned a number of other gold stocks as well. Platinum Asset Management, managed by billionaire Kerr Neilson, reported owning 2.9 million shares at the end of December.

Hedge fund manager discusses career, personal successes (The Tartan)
“A Conversation with David McCormick,” a lecture hosted by the University Lecture Series, provided advice and career tips to a large crowd of students and faculty in Baker Hall’s Giant Eagle Auditorium last Monday. McCormick is the former U.S. Treasury under secretary for international affairs in the Bush administration and current co-president of Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world. Bridgewater Associates manages $130 billion, according to its website. McCormick fielded questions from Heinz College dean Ramayya Krishnan and, later in the talk, from the audience.

UBS Australia Head of Hedge Fund Sales Moves to New York (The Wall Street Journal)
UBS AG’s Australian head of hedge fund sales Thomas Anglin has relocated to New York as part of the creation of a new global sales desk, according to an internal memo obtained by Deal Journal Australia. Mr. Anglin and New York-based colleague Fred Liljewall will report to Matt Foulds, UBS’s head of Americas equity distribution, and cover hedge funds including Viking, Lone Pine, Blue Ridge, Maverick, Manikay and Tiger Global, according to the memo.

Fund Launch by ELK Capital brings Agency MBS to the Hedge Fund Market (HedgeCo.Net)
“Agency MBS are an excellent vehicle for enhancing overall portfolio returns. Unlike many other investments Agency MBS carry actual or implied guarantees by the Federal government.” said Edward Komito, the Portfolio Manager “Due to their principal prepayment uncertainty, Agency MBS carry above average rates of interest which can make them appealing to those looking for higher rates of interest income.”

Curian Adds Hedge Fund Expert (FINalternatives)
Lipper’s global head of investment research has joined Denver-based Curian Capital to lead its new alternative investments group. Gabriel Burstein, who also oversaw hedge fund and mutual fund research at Lipper, was named head of Curian’s investment strategy group.

US Debt Deadlock: A Big Fat Tail (AllAboutAlpha)
Commonfund, the Wilton, CT based institutional investment firm and advisor, released new survey data on the (rather upbeat) institutional investor expectations for 2013. Investors expect on average that their own portfolios will grow 7.6 percent in 2013. What may be more intriguing to some:…

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