John Paulson, Fund Manager’s Farmland Love, and Bryan Borgia

Paulson Facing opposition over Bankrupt Hotels (Opalesque)

Hedge-fund manager Paulson & Co. is facing opposition to a deal with insurance giant MetLife Inc. that would sidestep a looming battle for control of a group of luxury resorts under bankruptcy-court protection. The Paulson-led resorts have agreed to pay the claim of MetLife, the resorts’ senior-most mezzanine lender, in full, in return for dropping its challenge to Paulson’s control of the Chapter 11 case.

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Barclays Capital Launches ManagerAccess Indices (HedgeWeek)

Barclays Capital, the investment banking division of Barclays Bank PLC, has launched its ManagerAccess Indices, a family of investible indices that aim to provide investors with liquid exposure to specific hedge funds strategy returns.
Investing in hedge funds continues to present investors with challenges. Over the past few years, events such as net asset value suspensions and gating have highlighted some of the inherent risks in hedge fund investing. Investors are placing higher requirements on the liquidity, transparency and asset protection of their hedge fund holdings. This has resulted in more thorough due-diligence processes and increased stringent governance requirements for investment companies in general.

Hedge Fund Compensation Declines on Poor Performance (Opalesque)

Hedge fund compensation declined by approximately ten percent on average across varied functional roles in 2011, according to the 2012 edition of the Glocap Hedge Fund Compensation Report. The compensation data released today shows a wide dispersion of compensation, between and within firms, driven by a number of variables including role, seniority/experience, fund size and performance for the year. The total hedge fund industry surpassed previous record levels of total capital under management in both 1Q and 2Q11, reaching $2.04 trillion, before declining sharply in 3Q as the hedge fund industry posted the fourth-worst performance quarter in history, with the HFRI Fund Weighted Composite declining by -6.2 percent.

Funds Continue to Invest in Farmland (FT)
Who is the biggest owner of farmland in America today? Aside from the American government? If you had asked me a couple of weeks ago, I might have guessed it was a food group, such as McDonald’s, or a wealthy family such as the Rockefellers. However, I recently met with Roger Ferguson, the former vice-chairman of the US Federal Reserve, who now runs TIAA-CREF, the giant American pension fund. According to Mr Ferguson, the TIAA-CREF is one of the largest owners of US agricultural land today. Another large landowner is thought to be the Mormon church.
Hedge Funds Buy Sovereign CDS at Protection Against Default (FT)
It has been blamed by politicians for causing the eurozone debt crisis and attacked as the favoured asset of “evil speculators”. Now, politicians are seeking to take their revenge: not just with the recent introduction of bans on some trading of credit default swaps but also in their attempts to ensure that any haircut on Greek government bonds does not trigger a credit event. Combined, these two events could spell the end of the credit default swaps market, say bankers. Sovereign CDS – used to protect creditors against defaults – have been bought by hedge funds and other investors as protection against possible default.
Michael Aronstein’s Marketfield Fund Flexibility (MarketWatch)
Michael Aronstein’s Marketfield MFLDX -1.45%  fund has one big advantage many other mutual funds don’t: flexibility. Aronstein’s $764-million fund has a broad mandate, allowing it to go long and short stocks, invest across different sectors and countries, even buy and sell futures and commodities. ”It’s basically a hedge fund in a mutual-fund package,” Aronstein said. “We have the flexibility to go pretty much to any asset category, either long or short.” It’s an advantage that’s allowed the fund to profit in recent years, even as other investors have been stung by the volatility that has gripped most markets.
Meet the Hedge Fund Demon (CNBC)
It was a few minutes after noon and I was late to meet a young hedge fund manager I call the Demon. The Demon runs a small fund he started in the middle of 2009. It has struggled to gain traction with investors and currently manages less than $50 million. When I arrived at the small restaurant in midtown where we’re to have lunch, he was sitting alone at a table near the back of the place. He was already eating a large salad. ”This place serves the best Greek salad in all of New York City,” he said. There was a twinkle in his eye when he used the phrase “Greek salad” — as if he had planned the meal for its symbolism. And then I noticed that he had already ordered one for me.
Bryan Borgia Says Industry Headed Toward Larger Seedings (Opalesque)
Emerging managers face headwind in the current climate and also have to meet new regulatory demands. To survive, they need to raise enough assets to support the necessary infrastructure. Fortunately for them, this coincides with a current growth in the fund seeding business, according to the participants of recent Opalesque Connecticut Roundtable. From what he has been seeing, Bryan Borgia, co-founder of Topwater Investment Management, believes that “going forward the industry is going towards the $100m seed versus doing say two $50m seeds.”

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