Hedge Fund News: Mario Gabelli, Andreas Halvorsen & Steve Eisman

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SEC agrees to dismiss six year old case against Gabelli’s CIO (Opalesque)
In the midst of the credit crisis, Gabelli Funds had another beast to contend with: claims of market-timing abuses by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to Bloomberg, Marc Gabelli, 40, the son of the company founder Mario Gabelli, and Chief Operating Officer Bruce Alpert, 56, allegedly allowed in 1999-2002 London-based Headstart, then known as Folkes Asset Management, to triple its market-timing capacity in exchange for an investment in another Gabelli hedge fund. Gabelli Funds LLC (aka GAMCO), a $43 billion, public mutual and alternative funds management firm, agreed to pay $16 million to settle the claims.

Mario Gabelli with cereal box

Financier Alan Howard gives £5 million to help state students (TheJC)
A British-Jewish financier has donated £5 million to a project that brings private school teachers to state school students. Alan Howard, the wealthiest hedge-fund manager in the UK who is worth an estimated £1.6 billion, has given the money to the United Learning Partnership Fund. It is believed to be the largest ever single donation to benefit children in state education. The funds will be used to teach students – mainly at urban academy schools – subjects that are often reserved for private schools, including classics and Russian, by a process of distance learning technology.

Investment bank’s expanding internal hedge fund hires Goldman Sachs trader (eFinancialCareers)
BTG Pactual, the Brazilian investment bank, may be expanding its London office by bringing in up to 100 new commodities staff this year, but its UK operation still primarily operates as an asset manager and a hedge fund. It’s here where it’s been poaching staff from larger investment banking rivals. Paul Savini Jr, who managed a team of emerging markets traders covering the CEEMEA region at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS), is the latest senior trader to sign up to BTG’s top performing hedge fund. He signed up to the bank in May as a portfolio manager covering Asian credit investments in BTG’s internal hedge fund and is registered with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, but is understood be carrying out the role from Hong Kong.

Viking Global reshuffles top ranks; fund up 6.6 percent in 1st half (GlobalPost)
Hedge fund superstar Andreas Halvorsen reorganized the top ranks of his Viking Global Investors this week by allowing one of his co-chief investment officers to take a sabbatical and handing the reins to the other co-leader to perform the job alone. The firm also told investors that it gained 6.6 percent in the first half of the year, after wiping away losses suffered when technology-oriented stocks tumbled in March, one investor in the fund said on Thursday. Dan Sundheim, who shared the position of chief investment officer with Tom Purcell, “is now sole CIO and manager of the Central Portfolio,” Halvorsen wrote in a letter.

Elliott Management Raises Its Stake in Wing Hang Bank (WSJ)
Hedge-fund firm Elliott Management raised its stake in Hong Kong lender Wing Hang Bank Ltd. to nearly 8%, throwing a wrench into the company’s planned sale to Singapore’s Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. Regulators in Hong Kong, Singapore and Macau have given OCBC the go-ahead for its $5 billion bid to buy Wing Hang Bank, one of Hong Kong’s last remaining family-owned lenders. But under Hong Kong rules, OCBC must receive roughly 90% of Wing Hang shares to delist the Hong Kong lender, which is a tougher proposition with the large stake now held by Elliott.

Is Fed feeding flames of inflation? (CNBC)

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