Hedge Fund News: Martin Whitman, Michael Platt & Lansdowne Partners

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Hedge Fund Manager Blasts Nobel Prize Winner’s Work Calling It ‘Utter Nonsense’ And ‘Unscholarly’ (Business Insider)
ValueWalk obtained a letter where Third Avenue Management’s chairman/founder Martin Whitman blasts Nobel Prize Laureate Eugene Fama. “I am disappointed that a Nobel Prize was awarded to Eugene Fama, who studies only markets and prices; and whom, I daresay, does not focus on Form 10-Ks or the footnotes to a corporation’s audited financial statements,” Whitman said in the opening of the letter to shareholders. Fama, a professor at Chicago Booth, won the Nobel Prize in Economic Science last year with Lars Peter Hansen and Robert Shiller.

BlueCrest Builds a Hedge Fund Empire (Businessweek)
When hedge fund managers venture into new areas, they typically move gradually. Not Michael Platt, co-founder of BlueCrest Capital Management. To expand from fixed-income investing into stocks, he negotiated a $750 million loan from 16 banks in July, allowing his firm to hire at least 25 money managers and provide them with capital to start trading immediately, according to two people with knowledge of the loan who asked not to be identified because it isn’t public. “I can’t think of any other examples like this,” says Daniel Celeghin, a partner at Casey Quirk & Associates, which advises hedge funds on fundraising. “It’s just the nature of finance, where if you are big and successful, people want to do business with you.”

Paul Ruddock

Lansdowne Rides Airline Bet to Top Europe Hedge-Fund List (Bloomberg)
On Oct. 11, the U.K. government sold a majority stake in Royal Mail Plc, the British postal service, in an initial public offering. Interest from both retail and institutional investors was strong. When the trading frenzy died down, two names emerged with large positions: Lansdowne Partners Ltd. and The Children’s Investment Fund Management UK LLP. Royal Mail was a good investment for the two London-based hedge-fund managers, as shares soared 38 percent on the first day of trading and were up 70 percent as of Jan. 9.

Lesser-known Greenwich hedge funds make top performers’ index (The Advocate)
They’re not investors most people have heard of, but three Greenwich-based hedge funds cracked the world’s top 30 in terms of performance last year. Bloomberg’s “Top-Performing Large Hedge Fund” list for 2013, which will be published in the February issue of Bloomberg Markets magazine, will feature near the top portfolios managed by JAT Capital, AQR Capital and Blue Harbour Group — three firms headquartered within about a mile of each other, from Greenwich Avenue down to Greenwich Harbor. “We are thrilled that three area firms have performed well enough to make the list,” said Bruce McGuire, founder and president of the Connecticut Hedge Fund Association, in an email Thursday.

Former hedge fund trader Julian Rifat set to be charged in insider trading case (Telegraph.co.uk)
British regulators are set to charge a former hedge fund trader over allegations he was involved in an insider trading ring. Julian Rifat, a former trader at US hedge fund Moore Capital, was arrested in March 2010 as part of Operation Tabernula, which the authorities described at the time as the largest ever operations against alleged insider trading. He was due to appear in court to tomorrow, but the hearing has been scrapped as the Financial Conduct Authority prepares to charge him, according to one source with knowledge of the process. Unnamed sources cited by Bloomberg said that Mr Rifat’s lawyers had been told today he would be charged no later than early February.

The hedge fund polar-fleece love affair (CNBC.com)

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