Hedge Fund News: Bill Ackman, Paul Singer, Och-Ziff Capital Management

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Ackman’s Exit Sends Valeant Shares To More Than 7-Year Low (CNBC)
Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals dropped Tuesday after news surfaced late Monday that billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman sold his remaining stock in the company. Valeant’s U.S.-traded shares closed the day down more than 10 percent, at less than $11 a share and a level not seen since May 2009 during the financial crisis. Sources told CNBC on Monday that Ackman sold his 27.2 million shares in Valeant at around $11 each. Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management had purchased the stock at an average cost of $196 a share in 2015, according to the hedge fund’s 2016 letter. Ackman then told CNBC that he sold his stake because it wouldn’t “move the needle for Pershing Square, even if the stock doubled from here.”

Bill Ackman, Pershing Square Capital Management, Herbalife

Paul Singer Is Reopening His Flagship Hedge Fund To New Capital (Bloomberg)
Billionaire Paul Singer is reopening his hedge fund to additional cash to take advantage of upcoming investment opportunities, according to people familiar with the matter. Investors will be able to start committing their money to the multistrategy hedge fund in the second quarter, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The capital may be put to work within two to three years. Singer’s $32.8 billion Elliott Management raises money by securing commitments from investors and calling on that capital at a later date when the opportunity is ripe.

Och-Ziff Executives Said To Leave After $13 Billion Withdrawn (Bloomberg)
Several executives are leaving Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC after the hedge fund suffered withdrawals of about $13 billion in the past 13 months and its shares dropped, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Among those departing are Drew Gillanders, a top European equity analyst; James Keith “JK” Brown, a partner and head of investor relations; and Paula Drake, chief compliance officer, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing personnel matters. Hamish Chalmers, an analyst in London, also has exited, they said. Drake declined to comment, while none of the others leaving returned calls and emails seeking comment. Och-Ziff, one of the biggest hedge-fund managers, has seen its assets decline amid middling performance and a five-year probe into a unit that pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe government officials in the Congo to win business.

Brett Icahn Finally Earns His Father’s Love (DealBreaker)
Forbes’ annual list of the 25 hedge fund managers who made the most money last year is out, and once again it’s topped by a guy who doesn’t technically run a hedge fund anymore: Renaissance Technologies founder James Simons, who retired eight years ago, still made $1.5 billion last year, good enough for a first-place tie with BlueCrest Capital Management’s Michael Platt. The two guys who actually run RenTech, Peter Brown and Bob Mercer (the latter when he’s not busy harming the country), had to settle for $125 million apiece and sharing 25th place on the list. Simons’ triumph means that, in three of the last four years, the highest-earning hedge fund manager hasn’t been a hedge fund manager at all: The equally-retired George Soros topped the list in 2013 with an impressive $4 billion haul, and the forcibly-retired-for-the-time-being Steve Cohen brought home $1.3 billion in 2014, the year he became head of a family office.

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