Hedge Fund News: Thomas Steyer, Bill Ackman & Eric Mindich

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Democrats Pull ‘All-Nighter’ for Climate Change (ChristianPost)
Right out of an episode of House of Cards, about half of Senate Democrats did what a big donor wanted. They pulled an all-nighter to give lip service to global warming. Hedge fund manager Tom Steyer (playing the role of Tusk) is said to be giving Democrats $50 million for their stunt. “We’re not going to rest until there is action on the most pressing issue of our time, which is climate change,” said Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz. The whole thing was a real Schatz show. If it’s so important, why couldn’t Harry Reid muster the other half of his 55 senators to take part in the theatrics?

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This may be the worst time to launch a new hedge fund (QZ)
There were fewer aspiring masters of the universe in the hedge-fund industry last year. Launches of new hedge funds (1,060) hit their lowest level in three years in 2013, and more existing hedge funds (904) went out of business than any year since 2009, according to Hedge Fund Research. What gives? One might think that billion-dollar hedge funds and new entrants alike would be champing at the bit to set up shop. After all, the US’s Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act lifted a broad ban on hedge-fund advertising in 2012, enabling hedgies to hawk their wares to a greater swathe of the deep-pocketed masses. Although it seems that some funds have begun to advertise, the rate at which new ones are hanging out their shingles is falling.

SALT hedge fund event seeks new locale (LasVegasNvBlog)
The event was launched in 2012, to capitalize on “new opportunities … created by the growth in the Asian markets & the shift in global trade,” as Scaramucci put it May of the same year. The Singapore edition attracted about 1,000 people each year—about half in that of Las Vegas—with the third installment set for Oct. 21-24 at the Marina Bay Sands hotel, a gleaming boat-shaped jewel of the city-state. But SkyBridge has quietly communicated with conference partners in that the event could be the last in Singapore, according to people familiar with the situation. The usual perception, according to numerous hedge fund industry sources, is in that the Singapore conference has not matched the Las Vegas NV event & has dropped in quality of speakers & attendees since the splashy launch in 2012…

When it comes to secrets, Wall Street titans and Silicon Valley VCs see eye-to-eye (QZ)
Great if you’re revealing secrets, terrible when someone else is revealing yours. And for investors, secrecy is sometimes the key to advantage, whether you’re plowing cash into private start-ups or an activist investor amassing public equities to bully management. David Einhorn, the hedge fund billionaire, is in the latter business, and last year he lost his advantage: An anonymous poster on investment website Seeking Alpha revealed that a major investor—intimated to be Einhorn—was about to buy a big chunk of equity in Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), a semi-conductor manufacturer.

USB Launches Equity Hedge Fund & Swiss Distribution System (HedgeCo)
Swiss banking giant UBS AG (ADR) (NYSE:UBS) is launching an equity-focused hedge fund according to a WSJ report. The new hedge fund will be called Capital and Consulting Services and will be run by Michael Sales, the Global Head of Business Consulting at UBS Prime Brokerage. “The combination will enable us to offer a more strategic agenda for our hedge fund clients,” UBS’s Global Head of Prime Brokerage Reinhardt Olsen said in a memo seen by the WSJ. Also in the news, UBS Fund Services announced a new service to support hedge managers with distribution in Switzerland.

Monte Paschi top investor selling 8.5 percent stake in bank (Reuters)
The top investor in Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI) is placing an 8.5 percent stake in Italy’s third biggest lender, two sources close to the situation told Reuters on Tuesday. “It’s an 8.5 percent stake, it is being handled by Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)“, said one of the sources. A second source confirmed the operation. A Milan trader said the placement, at a price of 0.2337 euros per share, was already largely subscribed. At current market prices, the sale would be worth around 234 million euros.

Eton Park reports a new position in General Motors (MarketreaList)
Eric Mindich’s Eton Park Capital Management bought shares in Teekay Corporation (NYSE:TK), General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), Allegion PLC (NYSE:ALLE), and Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE:APD). The fund exited positions in Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ:FOX), cable company Liberty Global Inc. (NASDAQ:LBTYA), and retailer Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ:DLTR). Eton Park started a new position in General Motors Co. (GM) that accounts for 2.09% of the fund’s fourth quarter portfolio. The automaker was a hedge fund favorite last quarter with JANA Partners, George Soros, Bronson Point Management, Third Point, Omega Advisors, and Hayman Capital taking or increasing stakes in General Motors.

Hedge funds eye cheap Russian markets (CNBC)

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