Hedge Fund News: Daniel Loeb, Tom Steyer, Agrium Inc. (USA) (AGU)

THIRD POINTDaniel Loeb surfing to the top of the hedge fund charts again (Reuters)
Something must be in the water over at 399 Park Avenue, where Daniel Loeb’s hedge fund Third Point is headquartered. His Third Point Ultra fund has already gained 12.42 percent this year through the 13th of March, according to data from HSBC’s Private Bank. The portfolio added 3.3 percent alone between March 1 and March 13. By comparison, hedge funds have returned about 4 percent year-to-date, according to HSBC. The roughly $1.7 billion Ultra portfolio is a levered version of the firm’s flagship Offshore fund, which manages about $5.7 billion and has gained 8.5 percent over the same period.

Court Won’t Rehear Argentina-Elliott Case (FINalternatives)
Argentina has suffered another court defeat in its battle with hedge fund Elliott Associates over its 2001 default. The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals will not rehear the country’s appeal of a lower-court ruling that bars Argentina from paying bondholders who accepted its debt exchanges before it pays holdouts, like Elliott affiliate NML Capital. A three-judge panel of the court in October upheld that ruling.

Paulson upset at being called ‘greedy’ hedge fund (MarketWatch)
Paulson & Co., the largest shareholder of MetroPCS Communications Inc. (PCS), rebuked T-Mobile USA’s chief executive for his assertion this week about “greedy” hedge funds. T-Mobile Chief Executive John Legere said at a press event Tuesday that the merger of the two wireless carriers will be approved, “despite the several greedy hedge funds that are trying to take a double dip out of that process.” Paulson & Co., which has been a critic of T-Mobile’s acquisition of MetroPCS, owns about 9.9% of MetroPCS. T-Mobile is owned by Deutsche Telekom AG (DTEGY, DTE.XE).

Australia’s Ascalon Buys Stake in Singapore Hedge Fund RV (Bloomberg)
Ascalon Capital Managers Ltd., a company owned by Westpac Banking Corp. (WBC) that invests in hedge- fund managers, bought a 30 percent stake in Singapore-based RV Capital Management Pvt as it expands its Asian investments. The acquisition includes an investment in RV Capital’s flagship Asia Opportunity Fund, which bets on rising and falling securities in the region’s rates, credit and foreign exchange markets, Ascalon said in an e-mailed statement.

Connecticut Hedge Fund Managers Charged With Securities Fraud (HedgeCo)
Connecticut-based hedge fund managers David Bryson, Bart Gutekunst and their advisory firm, New Stream Capital, LLC, have been accused of lying to investors about the capital structure and financial condition of their $750-plus million hedge fund focused on illiquid investments in asset-based lending. The SEC also charged New Stream Capital (Cayman), Ltd., a Caymanian adviser entity affiliated with New Stream, Richard Pereira, New Stream’s former CFO, and Tara Bryson, New Stream’s former head of investor relations, for their role in the scheme.

Asia-Pacific Funds Post Best Returns (FINalternatives)
Asia-Pacific hedge funds were the top performers over the past 12 months, according to the latest data from Preqin. Asia-Pacific funds returned 10.71% over the monitored period, compared to 9.37% for North America-focused funds and 6.88% for Europe-focused funds. The overall picture for hedge funds as painted in this month’s Preqin Hedge Fund Spotlight, was less rosy: gains for funds across all strategies and regions were down from 2.47% in January to 0.39% in February. That said, the only losing strategies in February were macro funds, down 0.19%, and emerging markets, down 0.08%.

Hedge Fund Billionaire Threatens To Primary Democrats For Keystone Support (BREITBART)
The Democrats have a growing billionaire problem. NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg is using his vast personal wealth to push Democrats out-of-step with the public on gun issues. Now, a hedge fund billionaire, Tom Steyer, is threatening to use his wealth to defeat Democrats who support construction of the Keystone pipeline. If they heed his threats, Democrats will again find themselves on the wrong side of the public on a key policy issue. Steyer’s environmental organization, 350.org, has already targeted MA Dem Rep. Steve Lynch for defeat in the upcoming primary to fill Sen. Kerry’s term in the Senate. Steyer’s group has endorsed Dem Rep. Ed Markey, largely because Lynch is a supporter of the Keystone pipeline.

Jana Says ISS Backing Two Nominees for Agrium’s Board (Bloomberg)
Jana Partners LLC, the activist investor pushing for changes at fertilizer maker Agrium Inc. (USA) (NYSE:AGU), said proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. recommended shareholders vote for two of its nominees for Agrium’s board. ISS backed Jana Managing Partner Barry Rosenstein and David Bullock, a former chief financial officer of Graham Packaging Inc., for election at Agrium’s April 9 shareholders’ meeting, Jana said today in a statement. Glass, Lewis & Co., another advisory service, recommended its clients vote for all of Agrium Inc. (USA) (NYSE:AGU)’s director nominees, citing management’s “more compelling case,” Calgary-based Agrium said yesterday in a statement.

Top Hedge Funds Scoop Up Talent From Troubled, Shuttered Startups (FINalternatives)
Major U.S. hedge funds, including Millennium Management, Pine River Capital Management and SAC Capital Advisors have taken advantage of the failure of a number of hedge funds founded by former European bankers to hire away their talent, Bloomberg News reports. Pine River has hired Evan Pearce, formerly of Edoma Partners, a hedge fund founded by Goldman Sachs’ former proprietary trading chief, Pierre-Henri Flamand. Flamand shuttered Edoma in November after performance and asset losses. Other Edoma veterans have gone elsewhere, including Oliver Haslam, who joined Millennium this month, and Louis Villa, who joined SAC.

Och-Ziff Promotes Levin To Global Head Of Credit (FINalternatives)
The New York-based hedge fund has named James Levin head of global credit. A seven-year veteran of the firm, Levin was most recently head of U.S. credit.

Sycamore Lane Cuts Fees to Attract New LPs (Hedge Fund Alert)
A year after launching with $20 million of seed money from Maverick Capital, Sycamore Lane Partners has lowered its management and performance fees in a bid to attract additional investors. At the end of February, Sycamore Lane was managing $22.7 million in its Cayman Islands-domiciled Sycamore Lane Offshore Fund and a U.S.-domiciled companion, Sycamore Lane Fund. The slight increase in assets under management since the funds’ April 2, 2012, inception was all performance-driven. Maverick remains the only outside investor.