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Hedge Fund Highlights: Stephen Mandel, George Soros & Philip Falcone

Hedge Funds Clash Over Argentina Debt (Wall Street Journal)
As Argentina struggles to stave off a second debt default in 13 years, two U.S. hedge funds are playing central but opposing roles in the country’s efforts to untangle itself from the previous crisis. The two firms, Gramercy Funds Management LLC and Elliott Management Corp., have hundreds of millions of dollars at stake as Argentina tries to wrap up a saga that dates back to its decision to give up on its debt payments in December 2001. But the firms have taken conflicting tacks in trying to get their money back.

Investcorp principal quits for London hedge fund (Financial News)
London-based hedge fund Fenician Capital has recruited Investcorp principal Andrew Crane as its new chief executive. Crane has spent the past six years at Investcorp, having previously worked at hedge fund consultancy VHC Partners and asset management group Fidelity Investments. He hopes to bolster Fenician’s assets under management, which stand at just below $100 million, through a new marketing strategy and by using his network of contacts.

These big hedge funds got crushed in January (
Most hedge funds that bet on big economic trends lost money in January, hurt by reversing stock markets and wrong-way currency bets. Some of the hedge fund industry’s most prominent names were among the losers for the month. A prime example was Caxton Associates‘s Caxton Global Investment fund, which fell 1.2 percent through Jan. 31. Andrew Law’s $7.7 billion New York based firm was hurt—like many others—by being long Japanese stocks and short the yen, according to a person familiar with the positioning. The Japanese Nikkei 225 fell 8.45 percent in January after steep gains in 2013. The yen gained nearly 3 percent in January after sharp declines last year.

Rajaratnam’s brother seeks dismissal of insider trading charges (CanIndia News)
Rengan Rajaratnam, the younger brother of imprisoned hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, urged a U.S. judge on Friday to dismiss insider trading charges leveled against him last year. In a motion filed in U.S. District Court in New York, his lawyers argued the government had taken positions in the indictment that contradicted positions prosecutors took in trying his older brother for insider trading. “Principles of fairness dictate that Rengan, at a minimum, should be tried under the same standard as Raj,” the defense lawyers wrote in the motion.

Trial gives peek into intense culture (Dallas Morning News)
Highland Capital Management is not the place for everybody. The Dallas hedge fund values employees with a tough work ethic. In exchange, investment professionals are richly rewarded when they perform well for investors and Highland. Top money managers become millionaires. Former top executive Patrick Daugherty made more than $26 million during his 131/2 years at the company. The relationship between the veteran executive and Highland, however, soured and culminated in a more than two-year legal fight. On Thursday, the jury issued a mixed verdict, ruling in favor of Highland in its breach-of-contract claim while ruling in favor of Daugherty in one of two compensation claims.

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