Schafer’s OSS Shuts Down, Kraft $KFT Split, EU Suspends Greek Aid

Oscar Schafer’s O.S.S. Capital Management to Shut Down (WSJ)

After more than 40 years as a noted stock-picker and market commentator, Oscar Schafer plans to close down his hedge fund in the next six months, investors said. The decision came as the fund, O.S.S. Capital Management, struggled to recoup steep losses from 2008. By the end of August 2011, the firm’s assets under management had dwindled to about $500 million from a peak of almost $2.5 billion, according to investors. O.S.S.’s wind-down will cap an investment career that spanned four decades. Mr. Schafer, 72 years old, has won plaudits for his timely stock investments and the market views he espoused as a regular contributor to Barron’s long-running Roundtable series. He began his career in 1970, when he went to work as an analyst for hedge-fund pioneer Michael Steinhardt. 

Man Group Profit Falls (Bloomberg)

Man Group Plc (EMG), the biggest publicly traded hedge-fund manager, reported a smaller-than-forecast decline in pretax profit in the fiscal first half as the European debt crisis roiled markets. Pretax profit dropped to $195 million in the six months through September from $227 million in the year-earlier period, London-based Man Group said today. Man had forecast a month ago that pretax profit would be about $185 million. Assets under management fell in October to about $63.5 billion after the firm’s biggest hedge fund, Man AHL Diversified, declined.
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Fortress Investment Third Quarter Earning Down (Reuters)
Fortress Investment Group‘s third-quarter pre-tax earnings fell as the company’s hedge fund performance sagged during the volatile period in August and September.
The New York-based hedge fund and private equity firm said pre-tax distributable earnings fell to $43 million or 8 cents per share, compared with $78 million, or 15 cents per share, a year earlier.Assets under management fell to $43.6 billion at September 30, down slightly from $43.8 billion at June 30.
Aberdeen Launches Diversified Growth Fund (InvestmentWeek)
Aberdeen Asset Management has launched an additional multi-asset fund for Mike Turner with a bias towards emerging markets. The Aberdeen Diversified Growth fund will have a low weighting towards equities in favour of fixed income and assets in the alternatives space such as property and hedge funds. It will also allocate to other funds inside and outside of Aberdeen. Although the fund is being marketed towards institutional investors, retail players can access the NURS fund. It has been seeded with £40m. Turner, head of global strategy and asset allocation, runs the £547m Multi-Asset fund and his team is responsible for around £6bn of assets.
Clive Fund Said to Erase Year’s Gains With 7.8% Loss in October (SFGate)
Clive Capital LLP’s $4 billion commodity hedge fund lost 7.8 percent last month, eliminating its gain for the year, according to two people with direct knowledge of the firm. The decline brings Clive’s drop for 2011 to about 7.4 percent, said the people, who declined to be identified because the London-based firm’s results aren’t publicly disclosed. The Clive Fund gained 11.4 percent in September, its second-best month since Chris Levett founded the firm in 2007.
Asian Hedge Funds AuM Decline to $82bn in Q3 Despite Investor Inflows (Opalesque)
Global hedge fund investors allocated over $1.4 billion in net new capital to Asian hedge funds in 3Q11 as global financial markets responded to developments in the European sovereign debt crisis and weakening economic growth prospects across developed economies, according to the latest edition of the Asian Hedge Fund Industry Report, released today by HFR, the global leader in the indexation, analysis and database management of the alternative investment industry. The third quarter inflow represents the sixth consecutive quarterly net inflow from investors into Asian hedge funds and the eighth quarter in the last nine quarters that Asian funds have seen positive flows. As a result of performance based asset declines, total assets under management (AUM) in Asian hedge funds declined to $82.6 billion, the first quarterly decline in over a year.
EU Suspends Greek Aid (FT)
European leaders suspended an overdue tranche of €8bn in international aid to Athens and demanded Greece make a clear decision on whether it wanted to leave the eurozone at a dramatic meeting on the sovereign debt crisis on Wednesday night, the FT reports. Under strong pressure from Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel, George Papandreou agreed to bring forward a planned referendum on the issue to as early as December 4. He said the referendum would be about Greece’s continued membership of the eurozone, not just about €130bn rescue plan agreed late last month. “This is not a question of only a programme,” Mr Papandreou said. “This is a question of whether we want to remain in the eurozone.” The timing and wording of the referendum were key demands made by Mr Sarkozy and Ms Merkel, who said after the meeting in Cannes on the eve of the G20 summit of leading global economies that it was essential that Greece fulfilled the commitments it had made in Brussels.
Kraft Pushes Ahead With Plans to Split (FT)
Kraft, the largest US food company by revenues, said on Wednesday it was pressing forward with its plans to split the company and that it would announce leadership teams for the independent businesses by the end of the year, the FT reports. The North American grocery business will continue to be called Kraft and the name of the snacks company will be voted on by shareholders. The split, announced last summer, is expected to be completed by next year and Irene Rosenfeld, Kraft’s chief executive, said she planned to join one of the two companies at that time. Third-quarter net earnings at Kraft rose 22 per cent from a year ago to $922m, or 52 cents a share, and revenues increased by 11.5 per cent to $13.2bn. The company’s shares gained 0.89 per cent to $34.95 in after-hours trading. Kraft also raised its full-year outlook on Wednesday and said its aggressive marketing strategy had helped it pass higher costs on to consumers in the third quarter.
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