Hedge Fund Highlights: Ken Griffin, David Tepper & D.E. Shaw Group

Hedge Fund Manager Ken Griffin Was Seen Chilling On A Yacht With A Name That Only Traders Could Appreciate (Businessinsider India)
Chicago-based billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin was seen chilling on a yacht on Lake Michigan over Memorial Day Weekend, according to a witness who took photos. Griffin, who runs Citadel, was spotted on board a 72-foot Princess Yacht appropriately named “Moar Theta”. It’s a name that only traders could truly appreciate.


Billionaires Boost Schools In Jersey City (Wall Street Journal)
Jersey City officials are starting an institute in the fall to train principals for the district’s public schools, with a $3 million gift from two hedge-fund managers who have been active in pushing their vision for educational change. Billionaire hedge-fund manager David Tepper said he backed the Jersey City program because its mayor, city council and school board are “pro-reform” and eager to improve the schools. The district has long been plagued by low achievement, and its instruction and operations are under state control. “Good leadership and good teachers, that’s where it all begins,” Mr. Tepper said.

Lehman Estate Finds Scant Interest In D.E. Shaw Stake (FINalternatives)
Nearly six years after Lehman Brothers went under, it still owns what would seem to be a highly desirable asset. But in spite of six months seeking to drum up interest, there is still no buyer for the collapsed bank’s 20% stake in D.E. Shaw Group. Goldman Sachs is shopping the stake, which Lehman bought about a year before it filed for bankruptcy. No one has yet shown much interest, according to The New York Times, and only Affiliated Managers Group, Inc. (NYSE:AMG), which owns stakes in a number of hedge-fund firms, is still considering a buy.

Highline Capital Management Bets on Healthcare, Basic Materials & Services Stocks (Insider Monkey)
Highline Capital Management is a fund led by Jacob Doft. Founded in 1995, Highline is a long/short equity hedge fund which has an equity portfolio worth $1.46 billion, unchanged in comparison with the previous quarter. Even though the fund holds a diversified equity portfolio, it primarily invests in Services stocks, which account for slightly less than a half of the equity portfolio, followed by Basic Materials and Healthcare sectors. Highline’s commitment to Healthcare stocks is already seen by looking at the first largest holding which is represented by AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV), of which the fund owns 2.07 million shares, with a reported value of $106.36 million.

Hedge Funds’ Investing Prowess Doesn’t Live Up to Billing (Wall Street Journal)
Hedge funds haven’t done much for investors lately. And “lately” in this context starts years ago. The past couple of months have been less than kind for many hedge-fund managers. In March and April, the industry experienced back-to-back declines for the first time in two years, according to industry tracker HFR. Equity hedge funds, which bet on and against stocks and invest in equity derivatives, had a particularly hard time, falling 1.2% even as the S&P 500 had a total return of 1.6%.

When activists come knocking… (CNBC.com)

Q&A: Remy Trafelet Gets Back To Basics With New Investment Firm (FINalternatives)
In its first incarnation, Remy Trafelet‘s Trafelet Capital Management was a $5.8 billion hedge fund with double-digit annualized returns. Then came the 2008 financial crisis and everything changed. Trafelet chose not to gate and much of the money (especially that from bank prop-trading desks) vanished. Flash forward to 2014 and Trafelet has retooled the business, brought in Highbridge Capital vet George Brokaw as a partner and re-opened to outside capital as Trafalet Brokaw & Co.

Hedge funds flip-flop on Verizon, Visa, Gilead (CNBC.com)
Hedge funds have done an about-face on a group of crowded stock bets. Investment managers had bet against Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) and Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG), but both positions are now popular long bets for hedge funds, according to a new review of 777 portfolios by Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) using data as of March 31. Verizon fell 3.19 percent from January to March, but is up 1.2 percent as of May 23. Walgreen gained nearly 15 percent in the first quarter and is up about 22 percent as of Friday.

Aeropostale secures $150 mln credit facility from Sycamore Partners (Reuters)
Aeropostale Inc (NYSE:ARO) said it secured a $150 million credit facility from private equity firm Sycamore Partners, in what could be a lifeline for the struggling teen apparel retailer. Shares of Aeropostale, which reported its sixth straight quarterly loss last week, rose 8.5 percent to $3.70 in premarket trading. Aeropostale said it issued convertible preferred stock to Sycamore, giving it the right to acquire up to a 5 percent stake at an exercise price of $7.25, the closing of the retailer’s stock on March 12.

Émergence selects Bluehive Capital for its 5th and last investment (Opalesque)
Emergence and NewAlpha Asset Management announce the fifth and final incubation partnership between the French managers-only seeding fund ‘Emergence Performance Absolue’ and BlueHive Capital. Like its previous two investments, Emergence invested at the inception of the BlueHive Opportunities – Global Alpha, giving it an institutional visibility and sufficient size to meet the needs of French and international institutional investors. Authorized under the new AIFM Directive, this new fund invests in various Event Driven strategies, including ‘Special Situations’ and ‘M&A situations’.

DoubleLine Capital licenses Vichara V*CLO platform (Finextra)
Vichara Technologies, Inc., a leading capital markets technology firm, announced today that DoubleLine Capital LP has licensed Vichara’s V*CLO platform for analysis of collateralized loan obligations (CLOs) and their underlying collateral pools. Vichara’s V*CLO product is a valuable addition to DoubleLine’s overall trading platform. “The DoubleLine fixed income teams require IT solutions that can be customized to our investment approaches and existing platforms,” said Casey Moore, Chief Technology Officer of DoubleLine.