Companies fight back against hedge funds (CNNMoney)
As activist investors intensify their efforts to shake up large firms, a new alliance has formed to hit back at the Carl Icahns and Dan Loebs of the world. On Monday, a group of directors and long-term shareholders of publicly-traded companies launched the Shareholder Director Exchange. The move is intended to counter the growing influence of activist hedge fund managers, whose strategy is to buy stakes in companies and then aggressively push for change. The Shareholder Director Exchange, or SDX, includes independent directors from such companies as The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) and Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HTZ), along with representatives from large long-term investors like BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK) and Vanguard. But activist hedge fund managers, who often times openly clash with corporate boards, were left out of the group.
Hedge-Fund Firm Exis Capital to Shut Down (Wall Street Journal)
New York hedge-fund firm Exis Capital Management Inc., run by prominent art collector Adam Sender, is shutting down following poor performance last year, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Founded by Mr. Sender, an early employee of SAC Capital Advisors LP, the 16-year-old Exis once managed more than $1 billion but managed only about $75 million at the end of last year. The firm lost 5.1% last year, according to a fund document. Exis’ investment strategy was to bet on the direction of instruments experiencing volatility, such as U.S. stocks, oil or gold.
Arden offers second fund where Main Street can try hedge funds (Reuters)
Arden Asset Management, which has been offering retail clients at Fidelity a way to sample hedge funds for more than a year, is branching out with a second mutual fund that will give other brokerage customers similar access to top hedge fund managers. Arden, which manages $6.1 billion for pensions and large institutional clients, launched its Arden Alternative Strategies II fund this week, a little over a year after rolling out a similar fund with mutual fund giant Fidelity. For as little as $1,000, investors will be able to gain access to hedge fund industry powerhouse firms D.E. Shaw Investment Management, York Capital Management, CQS (US) and eight other fund firms, regulatory documents show. Arden plans to cap fees at 1.99 percent.
Hedge Fund Chief Makes a Lonely Bet Against Portugal’s Debt (New York Times)
David Salanic cuts a lonely figure among the Manhattan power brokers eating breakfast at the Loews Regency Hotel restaurant on Park Avenue. Sure, he runs a hedge fund, but with $50 million, his fund may represent a year of commissions for some of the heavy hitters in the room. None of the big shots stopped by his table either, and the hostess, having messed up his table reservation, was not at all rattled by the snafu. Still, while he may not bring with him the buzz of billionaire hedge fund moguls like Daniel S. Loeb and William A. Ackman, Mr. Salanic, the chief executive of Tortus Capital, has his own target — Portugal — and it is bigger in size than any of the major corporations that have come under attack by his larger peers.