Paulson Down In December, Falconce Rejected SEC Offer

Paulson Funds Down Again In December (Reuters)

There will be no holiday cheer for hedge fund manager John Paulson this month, as his dismal performance in 2011 is capped off by another miserable performance so far in December. The Paulson & Co.’s Advantage Plus fund, which has been the firm’s worst performer all year, is down another 9 percent through December 16, sending yearly losses to about 52 percent, according to a person familiar with the numbers. The Paulson Advantage fund, the firm’s largest portfolio, is also hurting again this month, declining about 6 percent. The fund is down about 36 percent year-to-date.

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Howard Paid 128.3 Million Pounds To Partners (Bloomberg)

Brevan Howard Asset Management, the hedge fund founded by Alan Howard, paid its partners as much as 128.3 million pounds ($201.3 million) in the 12 months ending in March, a 79 percent drop from a year earlier as fees plunged. Fees fell to 236.8 million pounds from 736.3 million pounds, according to a Brevan Howard filing posted today at the U.K.’s Companies House. The London-based company’s biggest hedge fund, the Brevan Howard Master Fund, had an investment gain of 1 percent in 2010, down from a 19 percent return in 2009, according to investors. Brevan Howard generates fees based on fund performance and assets under management.

Copper Traders Most Bullish In Two Months On Demand Outlook: Commodities (Bloomberg)

Copper traders are the most bullish since October as global inventories at a two-year low add to signs that demand is improving. While traders are now bullish, hedge funds and other money managers remain bearish. They are holding a net-short position, or bets on lower prices, of 3,390 U.S. futures and options, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Speculators have held a net-short position since mid-September, the longest stretch since July 2009, a month after the last U.S. recession ended.

Hedge Fund Chief Falcone Rejects An Offer To Settle By SEC (WSJ)

Prominent hedge-fund manager Philip Falcone has rejected a Securities and Exchange Commission settlement offer that would have banned him from the securities industry and essentially ended his career. An SEC multiyear ban likely would make it impossible for Mr. Falcone to continue running his hedge fund as a hands-on operation. Such a ban likely would include barring him from managing assets of the investors in his funds, people familiar with the matter said.

Exclusive: Oil Fund Bluegold Loses Focus, Sinks Deep Into Red (Reuters)

Respected commodities hedge fund BlueGold has veered from its energy-focused strategy, betting almost half its money on equities and other trades that are worrying investors as it turns in its first down year. The London-based fund, founded by former Vitol VITOLV.UL oil traders Dennis Crema and Pierre Andurand, is heading for a negative annual return, losing 34 percent through mid-December. Its asset base is down to $1.2 billion from $2 billion about a year ago.

Ex-Lehman Exec’s Hedge Fund Up 45 Pct, Eyes Asset Boost (Reuters)

Juggernaut Asia Fund, set-up by former Lehman Brothers’ managing director Yashwant Bajaj, has returned 45 percent since its Aug. 1 launch by mainly betting on equity capital market deals and shorting companies such as scandal-hit Olympus Corp. The hedge fund gained 32 percent in October alone, with gains in six out of the seven initial public offerings and secondary deals in which it participated. Long position on China H shares also helped as the China Enterprises Index surged 18 percent.

FrontPoint All But Out Of Business (FINalternatives)

FrontPoint Partners, as recently as last year one of the largest and most well-respected hedge funds in the world, is now literally a shell of its former self. The New York-based hedge fund and its last fund manager, Stephen Czech, have reached an agreement to spin off its last fund, the New York Post reports. Following the opening of Czech Asset Management next month, FrontPoint will have no assets under management left and just a few employees.

Two Hedge Funds Are Suing Deutsche Bank For Allegedly Not Keeping Its Word To Buy Madoff Claims (Business Insider)

Two hedge funds have filed a lawsuit against Deutsche Bank, alleging that the German institution is backing out of a $1 billion deal to buy their claims for losses from investments with Bernie Madoff after the value of the claims fell over $90 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. The claims’ worth fell after a series of court rulings against the Madoff trustee, Irving Picard. The two funds are Kingate Global Fund and Kingate Euro Fund, which both have been in a liquidation process since Madoff’s $65 billion Ponzi scheme blew up in 2009 because they had all their assets invested with Madoff’s company. Kingate is already wrapped up in legal troubles—it’s being sued by Picard for ignoring the Ponzi scheme despite warning signals.

Hedge Fund Wants AOL To Take ‘Immediate Action’ (HFN)

New York-based activist hedge fund Starboard Value has acquired a 4.5% ownership stake in AOL, and is demanding “immediate action” from the $532 million internet company to improve its share value. Starboard CEO and chief investment officer Jeffrey Smith, in a letter sent Wednesday to AOL CEO Tim Armstrong and its board of directors, said AOL is “deeply undervalued,” and that Starboard, as one of the company’s largest shareholders, requested an in-person meeting to discuss how to improve AOL’s business performance.

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