Pernod Gets the Gentle Treatment From New York Hedge Fund (Bloomberg)
Billionaire Paul Singer is often portrayed as every CEO’s worst nightmare. His hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. is known for aggressive activist campaigns that put boardrooms under pressure to make radical changes, or get swept aside. But his latest European bet, on French liquor-maker Pernod Ricard SA, is different. It’s a more back-seat, common-sense approach that advocates tweaks rather than a structural overhaul. Judging by the recent board changes at the company and the share-price rise, it is working out for Elliott and Pernod’s management.
Just Eat Shareholder Wants Merger with Rival Instead of Hunt for CEO (The Guardian)
Just Eat, the British online takeaway service, has come under fresh pressure from an activist investor, which is calling for it to merge with a rival rather than appoint a new chief executive. Cat Rock Capital Management, a US hedge fund that owns a 1.9% stake in Just Eat, sent an open letter to its board to demand a merger with another online food delivery company within the next few months. It expressed “deep concern regarding the board’s recent appointment of executives who lack online food delivery experience to critical roles at the company, repeating the mistake the board made by appointing Peter Plumb as CEO.”
A Rarity on Wall Street: A Female- and Minority-Led Activist Hedge Fund (The Wall Street Journal)
The upper ranks of hedge funds are almost exclusively white and male. Impactive Capital LP, a new activist fund being launched by two industry veterans, will be one of the exceptions. Its co-founders and managing partners are Christian Asmar, who is Hispanic, and Lauren Taylor Wolfe. Both spent roughly a decade at activist hedge fund Blue Harbour Group LP before leaving to strike out on their own.
Hedge Funds will Spend $2 billion on Web-scraping Software to Gain an Edge, and It’s Part of an Investing Gold Rush (Business Insider)
Hedge funds and asset managers scraping the web for investment purposes represented 5% of all Internet traffic in 2018, and is expected to increase rapidly. As investors look for new ways to beat the market, total spending on web scraping for investment purposes is expected to exceed $1.8 billion by 2020. Despite information pouring in from billions of websites, poor performance plagued the hedge fund industry in 2018 — pushing investment managers to increase their already-massive web scraping programs.
Harvard Picks Ex-Hedge Fund Manager, California Judge for Board (Bloomberg)
Harvard University selected former hedge fund manager Timothy Barakett and California Supreme Court Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuellar for its 13-member governing board. Barakett closed his hedge fund, Atticus Capital LP, in the aftermath of the global financial panic in 2010. At its peak, the fund had $20 billion in assets. Since it shut he has been overseeing his family’s money at TRB Advisors. He played a prominent role in Harvard’s fundraising campaign that ended last year and is an alumnus of both the university and the business school, according to a press release Monday.