Hedge Fund Highlights: Edward Lampert, Stanley Druckenmiller & Christopher Hohn

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Sears Shares Crushed On Eddie Lampert’s One Year Anniversary As CEO (Forbes)
Exactly one year ago, billionaire hedge fund manager Edward Lampert named himself CEO of Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD), taking over from former International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) executive Lou D’Ambrosio. Lampert had for years already essentially been the most important man at the struggling retailer, having created the company by combining Sears and Kmart back in 2005 and serving as the company’s chairman. His ESL Investments hedge fund was the company’s biggest shareholder. But in 2013 he took full operating control. For a while in the fall of 2013, shares of Sears rebounded a bit as some investors saw hope in Lampert’s efforts to sell assets, working to unload Lands’ End, automotive service centers and real estate holdings in Canada.


BILLIONAIRE HEDGE FUND MANAGER: ‘Chris Christie Is A Once-In-A-Generation Leader’ (Business Insider)
Billionaire hedge fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller, the founder of Duquesne Capital Management, is still supporting Gov. Chris Christie despite the whole “Bridgegate” debacle. Druckenmiller told Bloomberg TV’s Stephanie Ruhle that Christie is a “once-in-a-generation leader” and that he admires him. “The country thirsts for a great leader. A leader’s actions in crisis are revealing,” Druckenmiller told Bloomberg TV’s Stephanie Ruhle.

Stock-Picking Hedge Funds Win in 2013 (Wall Street Journal)
Conviction in a handful of companies helped the $7.9 billion London-based The Children’s Investment Fund Management post a 47% gain last year, its best since 2005, according to people with knowledge of the fund’s performance. Airbus Group NV, formerly known as the European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co., was the biggest contributor to TCI’s performance, with an 89% gain in 2013, one of the people said. The fund, run by Christopher Hohn, was helped by gains in Japan Tobacco Inc. and French engine maker Safran SA, too. Another big winner, Whale Rock Capital Management LLC of Boston, rose 53% on bets that included Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX)LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD)Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P), and Chinese software company Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (NYSE:QIHU), according to people with knowledge of the fund’s performance.

Hedge Fund Capital Greenwich Borrows Most in 358 Years (Bloomberg)
Greenwich, Connecticut, the top-rated home to hedge funds AQR Capital Management and Traxis Partners, is selling the most debt in its 358-year history. The offering of $85 million in one-year notes on Jan. 16 will pay for a new auditorium at Greenwich High School, renovations to a fire station and a refurbishing of the Nathaniel Witherell nursing home. “It is by far the largest borrowing the town has done at one time,” Comptroller Peter Mynarski said in a telephone interview. “It is about timing of the three projects.” Moody’s Investors Service awarded Greenwich its Aaa rating, citing “abundant taxable resources, substantial wealth levels and a growing but manageable debt position.”

US Supreme Court agrees to consider Argentina litigation case with hedge funds (MercoPress)
The court agreed to hear Argentina’s appeal after an appeals court said a hedge fund could subpoena banks for information about the country’s non-US assets. The hedge fund, NML Capital, a holder of Argentine bonds, wants repayment in full in a fight that was prompted by Argentina’s 2002 default. The repayment issue is the subject of high-profile litigation that could be headed to the high court in a separate case. “Argentina is in open defiance of dozens of judgments of US courts to pay American investors what it owes,” said Theodore B. Olson, a lawyer for NML. “It’s time for Argentina to stop trying to evade its obligations and to follow the law.”

Hedge fund stars suffer sharp losses (Financial Times)
Brevan Howard, Cantab Capital and Bluecrest were among the worst-performing hedge fund managers of 2013 as uncertainty around the US Federal Reserve’s monetary policy triggered sharp losses for commodity and emerging market managers. Several trend-following hedge funds also suffered losses, with Cantab’s flagship CCP Quantitative fund finishing the year down 27.7 per cent and Bluecrest’s Bluetrend fund down 8.7 per cent as of November, although most funds still made gains, according to leaked analysis of 500 funds compiled by HSBC’s Alternative Investment Group.

Hedge fund manager sues tax advisers over soured film bet (Financial News)
The founder of UK hedge fund Sloane Robinson is suing his former tax advisers of over 20 years for millions of pounds in damages after an investment in a film company went sour. Hugh Sloane filed his £2.5 million claim against London-based Saffery Champness at the UK Commercial Court in December. He alleges the firm failed in its fiduciary duty and accuses it of negligent misrepresentation. Rob Elliot, a partner at Saffery Champness, said the firm would be filing its “defence against the particulars of the claim in due course”. It declined to comment further.

Too risky to speculate on India: Ambit Capital (CNBC.com)

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