Some of the names we are going to show on this top 140 biggest and most famous activist hedge funds list are the investors that keep certain executives awake at night and at their toes.
After all, activist hedge funds get most of their earnings from investing in companies and pushing them to provide more shareholder value. These funds and their managers can start off with a statement declaring their dissatisfaction in a way a company handles its business. The suggestions could be something as benign as adding dividends, or something as hostile as firing CEOs or selling off some assets or the company itself. The more returns a hedge fund gets through its investments and campaigns, the more effective it can appear to its backers.
Here on this list, we are ranking the biggest and most famous activist hedge funds as of the third quarter of 2016, based on how huge their respective portfolios have grown after years of wheeling and dealing. We start of from No. 140, and count down to No. 1. To give you an idea on how much more valuable the top performers are, here’s a comparison point: The top-ranking hedge fund’s portfolio value is 900 times that of No. 140. But fortunes can change, and we can expect to see some changes in these rankings when the hedge funds update their filings in the next few weeks.
As of the third quarter of 2016, the 140 biggest and most valuable hedge funds have an aggregate 13F portfolio value of $397.42 billion, more than thrice the portfolio value of Warren Buffett and about 2.13% of the $18.68 trillion US gross domestic product during that quarter. If these hedge fund managers end up selling all their investments for cash (and let’s forget for a second the obviously disastrous effect on the stock market), they’ll end up holding more than 25% of the $1.5 trillion of cash in circulation.
Now that we’ve established the power these hedge funds wield, here then is the list the top five stocks the biggest and most famous activist hedge funds seem to prefer to invest in. Allergan plc (NYSE:AGN) tops this list, with 24 activist hedge funds holding $5.24 billion of company stock, followed by Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), with 22 funds owning $2.55 billion in shares. Rounding out the top five are Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), with 20 activist investors holding $1.62 billion in the company, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), with $2.35 billion in stock held by 19 hedge funds, and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT), where 18 activist hedge funds have invested $3.95 billion.
All portfolio values listed on this Top 140 Biggest and Most Famous Activist Hedge Funds list are as of September 30, 2016, the end of the third quarter of 2016, unless otherwise indicated in a parenthetical note beside the value. All of these hedge funds filed at least one 13D filing since the beginning of 2016.