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Hedge Fund News: Thomas Steyer, SandRidge Energy Inc. (SD), Hess Corp. (HES)

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Editor’s Note: Related tickers: Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE), SandRidge Energy Inc. (NYSE:SD), Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES), Newfield Exploration Co. (NYSE:NFX), Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL)

FARALLON CAPITALHedge Fund Billionaire Steyer Pressures Obama to Reject Keystone Pipeline (NewsMax)
President Barack Obama’s adoption of measures to combat climate change shouldn’t be seen as a trade off for approving the Keystone XL pipeline, a top donor to his re-election campaign said. Hedge-fund billionaire Tom Steyer unveiled a social-media campaign today meant to organize supporters and pressure the president to reject the pipeline, which would carry oil sands from Alberta to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico. Steyer hired a former Obama campaign digital producer, Tara McGowan, to help run the effort.

Hess, Newfield launch sale of $3 bln of Asian assets (Reuters)
U.S. energy companies Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES) and Newfield Exploration Co. (NYSE:NFX) have launched two separate auctions to sell part of their Asian oil and gas field stakes that have a combined value of about $3 billion, people familiar with the matter said. Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES) and Newfield Exploration Co. (NYSE:NFX), like a number of U.S. energy companies, have been unloading ageing and less productive oil and gas fields and investing back into more strategic and profitable projects, particularly in and close to their home markets, driven in part by activist shareholders. Their retreat has been met by interest from Asian state oil companies and others keen to boost their portfolios in the region. Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES), under the gun from hedge fund Elliot Management since January for changes to its governance and long-term strategy, has announced plans to become a pure-play exploration and production company.

SandRidge CEO Firing Takes Hedge Fund Activism to a New Level (InstitutionalInvestorsAlpha)
When SandRidge Energy Inc. (NYSE:SD) announced Wednesday that its founder, chairman and CEO, Tom Ward, was leaving, the company issued a press release carefully crafted to insinuate that the move was its own timely, strategic decision. “New leadership is in the best interests of the company and its shareholders at this time,” the statement said. However, the move was yet another victory for New York–based activist hedge fund firm TPG-Axon Capital Management, even though the investor agreed to drop its plan for a proxy fight when it worked out a settlement with the energy company back in March. In fact, had the board not canned Ward by June 30, it would have lost control of the company altogether. Under the settlement, Oklahoma City–based SandRidge Energy Inc. (NYSE:SD) agreed to place four of the hedge fund firm’s nominees on the energy company’s board of directors.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Buys Hedge Fund Administrator Butterfield Fulcrum (IBTimes)
Japan’s biggest bank holding and financial services company Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) has snapped up one of the world’s largest hedge fund administrators in a bid to expand its business globally. MUFG will buy Butterfield Fulcrum’s business, which has more than $100bn (€75.6bn, £64.5bn) of client assets, across 850 funds. However, the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Bermuda-based Butterfield Fulcrum has about 325 employees in its seven offices in six countries and provides fund administration to hedge funds, fund of funds, family offices and private equity funds.

Sony chief says time needed to study proposal (Yahoo)
Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) needs more time to study a key proposal from a U.S. hedge fund to spin off a part of its entertainment unit as a way to propel its fledgling revival, the chief executive told shareholders Thursday. Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai was speaking to a Tokyo hall packed with thousands of investors for an annual general shareholders’ meeting, where the proposal from Third Point hedge fund, led by activist investor and billionaire Daniel Loeb, was high on people’s minds. It was the first question from the floor. Hirai reiterated his position that Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) takes the proposal seriously, and it will be discussed by the company board. But he ruled out a quick decision.

Hedge fund exits surge in June as investors pause for review (CityAM)
REQUESTS to pull money out of hedge funds rose in June as investors used the mid-year point to review their portfolios and release cash to spend elsewhere. Hedge fund administrator SS&C GlobeOp’s forward redemption indicator – a monthly snapshot of clients giving notice to withdraw their cash which shows the percentage of assets under administration – stood at 3.88 per cent in June, a moderate rise from May’s measurement of 3.77 per cent. Chief executive at SS&C Technologies Bill Stone described the June increase as “typical semi-annual redemption activity”, such as investors freeing up cash to spend on summer holidays.

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