Hedge Fund Veteran Jerrold Fine Debuts First Novel (HedgeWeek)
Hedge fund pioneer Jerrold Fine raced to the forefront of the financial world in the years when a new generation upended the status quo on Wall Street and forever changed investing. He has been a founding managing partner of a hedge fund since he was twenty-four years old. Drawing from his own experiences in the turbulent ‘70s and ‘80s, Fine (pictured) blends a heartfelt story of a young man, Rogers Stout, fiercely intent on achieving independence, with a fascinating insider’s look at the perks and pitfalls of a high-stakes life in the world of financial markets in his debut novel Make Me Even and I’ll Never Gamble Again.
Greek Tragedy for One Hedge Fund Is Not Enough Stocks to Buy (Bloomberg)
Amber Capital is so bullish on Greece that it only wishes there were more stocks it could buy. “I’m super optimistic about the Greek economy,” Joseph Oughourlian, who founded the $1.8 billion asset manager in 2005, said in an interview in London. “It’s got all the catalysts in reverse versus a lot of the countries — not just in Europe, in the rest of the world. It’s got populism receding, it has the economy in a very, very strong footing, it’s got incredibly strong fundamentals.”
Elliott and Vivendi fight over Telecom Italia (Economist.com)
Telecom italia is no stranger to shareholder feuds. Two years after it was privatised in 1997 Italy’s national operator, also known as tim, was the subject of a hostile takeover which left it saddled with so much debt that it never fully recovered. It has gone through four chief executives in four years. Ownership of the company, which has a market value of €11bn ($12bn), is fragmented and unstable. On March 29th instability was expected to be on display once again at a general meeting. Shareholders were due to vote on a proposal by Vivendi, a French media conglomerate which owns 23.9% of tim, to replace five directors put forward last May by Elliott, an American activist-investor fund with a 9.5% stake. The spat shows how corporate Italy is changing.
Hedge Fund Returns Muted in Light of Sustained Bull Market (Plan Adviser)
Given the sustained equity bull market and muted market volatility, the low level of alpha that hedge funds have delivered in recent years is not surprising, Willis Towers Watson says in a new report, “Hedge Funds: A New Way.” The consultancy says that hedge funds have not taken on sufficient risk to deliver attractive performance and that they face several headwinds. Hedge fund managers have turned their attention to short-term performance in order to prevent jittery investors from redeeming their assets.
Billionaire Activist Tom Steyer Differs with Pelosi, Doubles Down on Demands for Trump Impeachment (ABC News)
Hedge fund billionaire and progressive activist Tom Steyer says he intends to stick with his efforts to promote the impeachment of President Donald Trump, even as many Democrats in Congress have quieted talk of such efforts after the investigation into Russian meddling concluded without further indictments. “This is a movement … [that] will continue regardless of whether the House leadership is willing to hold hearings, regardless of whether we get the tax returns, regardless of whether the Mueller report ever is available to the American people,” Steyer said during a wide-ranging interview on the ABC News podcast, “The Investigation.” “The question in all of this is — does it rise to the level of removing the president of the United States? And my point was that I believe this is the most corrupt president in American history.”
Spotless Shares Jump as Hedge Fund Coltrane Creeps Up Register (AFR.com)
The Spotless Group’s biggest minority investor, New York-based hedge fund Coltrane Asset Management, is creeping up the services group’s share register and has lifted its holdings to almost 12 per cent. Downer EDI bought 87.8 per cent of Spotless in a $1.2 billion takeover in August 2017, with only Coltrane and several hundred retail shareholders refusing to accept its offer of $1.15 per share. Coltrane initially took a 10.7 per cent stake in Spotless in May 2017 but released a substantial shareholder notice on Thursday, showing that it had been buying small amounts of Spotless shares via equity swaps – sometimes as little as seven shares on one day.
Hedge Fund Accuses Insurer of Shady Tactics by Expanding Board (New York Post)
A San Francisco-based hedge fund is calling out an insurance company for expanding its board in a transparent attempt to thwart its attack. Voce Capital, which owns 5.6 percent of Argo Group, called for the insurer to rescind the board appointments of Samuel Liss and Tony Latham in a statement. The two were named last month, days ahead of a planned meeting between Voce and Argo. But it’s not just the sudden appointments that irk Voce: The hedge fund also says that Argo’s bylaws only allow the company to name board members when there are “casual vacancies” — generally caused by the death or resignation of a board member. All other appointments must be approved by shareholders, Voce claims.