Hedge Fund News: Bill Ackman, Bruce Richards, Bridgewater Associates

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Ackman: HLF Execs Hiring Own Lawyers An Ominous Sign (CNBC)
Bill Ackman thinks shorting Herbalife is an even better short than it was when he first bet against the stock in 2012. The most recent indicator is that senior executives at the nutritional supplement company are hiring or looking to hire their own criminal defense attorneys, the Pershing Square Capital Management founder said Monday evening at the 13D Monitor Active-Passive Investor Summit in New York. “People are at risk of going to jail,” Ackman said, noting the “very material” development.

Bill Ackman, Pershing Square Capital Management, Herbalife

Marathon Asset Buying Irish Real-Estate Loans, CEO Richards Says (Bloomberg)
Marathon Asset Management LP’s Bruce Richards says his firm is ramping up investment in Europe on bets that central-bank easing, a depreciating euro and the plunge in oil prices will buoy the region’s growth. The hedge fund, which manages about $13 billion, last week bought a non-performing loan from Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency, a group set up in 2009 to take control of banks’ toxic property loans. Backed by 588 multifamily units in Dublin, the loan marks Marathon’s 12th such purchase in two years in a country whose economic growth Richards says outpaces that of its European counterparts.

World’s Biggest Hedge Fund Plans Connecticut Campus Upgrades (CNBC)
The world’s largest hedge fund is proposing upgrades to its wooded campus in Connecticut, a project that brings a new set of hurdles after the collapse last year of a plan to relocate its offices to a peninsula on Long Island Sound. Bridgewater Associates, which manages some $169 billion, is proposing to overhaul its office buildings and create an underground parking garage on its headquarters at the confluence of two rivers in Westport. “This is not routine at all. This is a pretty ambitious project,” said Alicia Mozian, the town’s conservation director.

Embattled BNY Mellon CEO Gets Rebuke, Support At Annual Meeting (Reuters)
Embattled BNY Mellon Corp CEO Gerald Hassell, under fire from activist investors, received a public rebuke on Tuesday at the bank’s annual meeting for lagging past performance, but also a vote of support to make improvements going forward. The words of criticism and support came from Ed Garden, who joined BNY Mellon’s board in December. Garden is a senior executive at Trian Fund Management LP, the activist hedge fund run by billionaire Nelson Peltz that owns about 2.6 percent of BNY Mellon’s stock.

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