Hedge Fund News: David Einhorn, George Soros, Netflix

GREENLIGHT CAPITALDavid Einhorn is Shorting Iron Ore (Benzinga)
Hedge fund whiz David Einhorn gave a presentation at the Great Investor’s Best Ideas investment symposium in Dallas on Tuesday. While the media was not allowed at the event, portfolio manager Leo Isaak reported on Einhorn’s investment ideas via his Twitter feed. Other investment heavyweights that attended the conference included T. Boone Pickens, Leon Cooperman and Kyle Bass, among others. Even in this company, Einhorn was likely the most highly anticipated speaker. A noted value investor and short-seller, David Einhorn, 43, is the founder and managing partner of New York-based hedge fund Greenlight Capital Re, Ltd. (NASDAQ:GLRE). Founded in 1996 with just $900,000, Greenlight has produced 22 percent annualized returns for its investors and made Einhorn a billionaire.

Greenwich Mansions Leveled as Sandy Swept Connecticut (Bloomberg)
Flames destroyed three waterfront homes in the hedge-fund mecca of Greenwich, Connecticut, as a firestorm driven by Sandy’s gale threatened to rip through one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the U.S. Combined, the mansions were valued at almost $14 million, including one that was purchased in 2011 for $6.8 million, according to town records. All three were on Binney Lane, a private road protected by a sea wall above Long Island Sound.

Henderson fund outflows continue in third quarter (Reuters)
Fund manager Henderson suffered 1.1 billion pounds net outflows of funds during the third quarter of 2012 as retail money left ahead of a regulatory shakeup while institutional clients turned away from Europe and hedge fund investments. The company blamed retail outflows on underperforming core funds in its multi manager range, as well as clients repositioning portfolios ahead of a regulatory shakeup of financial product selling next year.

Deutsche Bank adds Hermes absolute return strategy to dbSelect (HedgeWeek)
Hermes Fund Managers has launched its Hermes Absolute Return Commodity strategy on dbSelect, Deutsche Bank’s platform for accessing liquid hedge fund strategies. The Hermes Absolute Return Commodity strategy allows investors to access Hermes’ commodities expertise in a flexible and customised format.

DBS Group Holdings Ltd. PINK:DBSDY reports, Q-3 net + 12%, Beats Expectations (LiveTradingNews)
Economist and Hedge Fund Manager Shayne Heffernan of www.livetradingnews.com strong buy DBS Group Holdings Ltd. SG:D05 , Southeast Asia’s largest bank by assets, on Thursday posted an above-consensus 12% rise in Q-3 net profit on continued loan growth. Net profit for the Quarter ended 30 September was 856-M Singapore Dollars, US$701.3-M, up from S$762-M a year earlier, the bank said in a statement. The Q-3 result was higher than the average S$793.8-M forecast by analysts surveyed.

Vision Opportunity Funds Receive Two Awards at the Canadian Hedge Fund of the Year Awards (BusinessWire)
Vision Capital Corporation (“Vision”) is pleased to announce that it received two awards at the 2012 Canadian Hedge Fund of the Year Awards held last night hosted by KPMG. The Vision Opportunity Fund Limited Partnership received the award for achieving the third highest risk adjusted total return (as measured by its three year Sharpe Ratio) for Funds that have been in existence for more than three years. The Vision Opportunity Fund Limited Partnership II received the award for attaining the third highest one year total return for Funds that have been in existence for three years or less. This is the fourth consecutive year since inception of Vision’s Funds that Funds managed by Vision Capital Corporation have received recognition at the Canadian Hedge Fund of the Year Awards.

Wall Street’s strangest story yet (FT)
In one of Jorge Luis Borges’s fables, an ancient empire becomes so fixated on the science of carto­graphy that eventually the only map that will suffice is one whose size matches that of the realm itself. “The vast map was useless,” Borges writes, laconically. In its drive to capture reality, even to beat it, the empire loses all sense of it. So it is too in the fantastical tale of Sam Israel III: a modern hedge fund fable of fraud and failure that starts in the familiar territory of Wall Street grime and crime, and the drive of one man to beat the market – to “hear” it, as Israel puts it – and ends deep in the weeds of conspiracy and paranoia.

Hedge Funds Care Canada Gala Raises Nearly C$200,000 for Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse (GlobeNewsWire)
More than 200 Canadian hedge fund industry professionals and supporters gathered at Spice Route in Toronto October 23rd for the ninth annual “Open Your Hearts to the Children Gala.” The special fundraising evening organized by Hedge Funds Care Canada raised nearly C$200,000 for the prevention and treatment of child abuse. This brings the amount the event has raised to date for this worthwhile cause to more than C$1.6 million. Scotia Capital Prime Brokerage, which provides technology and other services to the hedge fund industry, was awarded this year’s “Award for Caring.” “Hedge Funds Care continues to make strides in raising both money and awareness to this very important and unfortunately often-overlooked cause,” said Hedge Funds Care Canada President and Director Corey Goldman. “The dollars raised this year will have a significant impact in continuing to fight the scourge of child abuse in this country.”

Pyxis Capital won a sought-after award at the 2012 HFMWeek Hedge Fund Awards. Pyxis Capital, a leading registered alternative investment manager for financial advisers, institutions and individual investors, today announced that the Pyxis Long/Short Equity Fund was named the “Best 40 Act Fund” for 2012 at HFMWeek’s US Hedge Fund Awards ceremony in New York. The honor was awarded to Pyxis following a vote by a panel of independent judges, including a set of institutional and private investors along with members of HFMWeek and other industry experts. Judging decisions were based on return, risk and other qualitative factors.

AlphaNorth Asset Management is “Best of the Best” in Canadian Alternatives Again (NewsWire)
AlphaNorth Asset Management won the award for ‘Best 3-Year Annualized Return’ (July 31, 2009 – July 31, 2012) for its flagship hedge fund, the AlphaNorth Partners Fund, at the Fifth Canadian Hedge Fund Awards. The AlphaNorth Partners Fund achieved annualized returns of 37.4% over the 3 year period as compared to its benchmark, the S&P/TSX Venture, which returned 0.1% over the same time period. This marks the second year in a row that AlphaNorth has received the award for the top performing fund over the trailing 3 year period. Steve Palmer, AlphaNorth’s CIO and Portfolio Manager said: “We are proud to be recognized as the best Canadian hedge fund for superior performance over 3 years despite the challenging equity markets over the past several years. AlphaNorth’s investment philosophy is based on maximizing returns for our investors over the long term. We do this by investing in small caps which historically have significantly outperformed all other asset classes.”

Pension funds to increase Hedge Fund allocation despite recent poor performance (HedgeCo)
Pension funds will continue to increase their allocation to hedge funds despite the recent poor performance within the hedge fund industry, according to Don Steinbrugge, Chairman of Agecroft Partners, a global consulting and third party marketing firm for hedge funds. “This is being driven by the fact that pensions funds are forward looking in their investment return assumptions when determining their asset allocation. Recent relative performance of a particular asset class has little relevance in their decision making process.”

Taiwanese Firm Launching HF Admin Unit (HedgeFund)
Taiwanese asset management firm SinoPac Financial Holdings is setting up a fund administration unit in Hong Kong. Taipei Times reported that the new administration unit, which will begin to serve clients in December, is targeting more than 1,000 hedge and private equity funds in Asia with less than $100 million in AuM. Steve Bernstein, a former Citigroup executive who will run SinoPac’s new unit, told Taipei Times that the division will “help small funds find legal advice and provide custody clearing” and may possibly expand into accounting, administration trade execution and compliance.

Sinclair Calls Confiscation at $3,000 Rumor Nonsense (ResourceInvestor)
The “Mr Gold” of the 1970s and former adviser to the Hunt Brothers, Jim Sinclair is hopping mad over rumors that gold might be subject to confiscation above $3,000, something that happened in the US in the 1930s but would be totally impossible in the modern world. “Apparently the Scottish hedge fund manager Hendrey, who is by his own admission ’short some gold shares,’ is warning about confiscation without remuneration of gold companies above gold $3,000,” says Mr. Sinclair in his latest missive. “Either he has never studied gold history, or totally misunderstood its role in the 1930s…

Harbinger Seeks Dismissal Of Would-Be Investor Class-Action (Finalternatives)
Already fighting nasty battles with creditors of its primary investment and with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Harbinger Capital Partners is taking some time to try to fend off a legal challenge from an investor. The hedge fund last week asked a federal judge in New York to dismiss a proposed class-action lawsuit against it. That complaint, filed in February by a client who invested $4 million with Harbinger, accuses the hedge fund of misleading her and other clients about the size and risks of its investment in wireless Internet venture LightSquared.

Hedge Fund Gotham Hires IR Head From Morgan Stanley (Finalternatives)
Gotham Asset Management has a new point man for its clients. David Barrett was set to join the hedge fund as head of investor relations this week, Bloomberg News reports. It is unclear whether the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Sandy delayed those plans. In his new post, Barrett will handle IR, sales, marketing and business development for the $1.45 billion hedge fund.

Book Review: THE DAWN OF INNOVATION? (LiveTradingNews)
In this historical overview, Charles R. Morris (The Sages: Warren Buffett, George Soros, Paul Volcker, and the Maelstrom of Markets, 2009, etc.) says that American industry in its early days was more concerned with growth and large-scale mass production than Great Britain was. “By comparison with 18th Century Britons, Americans were strivers on steroids,” he writes. To illustrate this point, the author looks at several pioneering British and American inventors and engineers and describes key innovations in a wide range of early American industries, from clock making to furniture making.

Netflix stock soars on news of Carl Icahn’s stake (TheFrontierPost)
In a Wednesday regulatory filing, Icahn revealed he had used some of his $14 billion fortune to accumulate a 10 percent stake in Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX). The documents didn’t disclose why Icahn and his investment funds have been buying 5.5 million Netflix shares since early September, but investors familiar with his cage-rattling history assumed that the billionaire would press the owner of the world’s largest Internet video subscription service to make dramatic changes to boost its stock price. That hunch caused Netflix’s stock price to soar $9.66, or nearly 14 percent, on Wednesday to close at $79.24. In a Wednesday interview, Icahn said he simply believes Netflix is worth a lot more than most investors think it is.

George Soros: Using Raoul Wallenberg to Unite the EU (HNN)
George Soros is chairman of Soros Fund Management and of the Open Society Institute. Originally, the European Union was what psychologists call a “fantastic object,” a desirable goal that inspires people’s imaginations. I saw it as the embodiment of an open society: an association of nation-states that gave up part of their sovereignty for the common good and formed a union dominated by no single nation or nationality. The euro crisis, however, has turned the EU into something radically different. Member countries are now divided into two classes — creditors and debtors — with the creditors in charge. The EU is today held together by grim necessity. That is not conducive to a harmonious partnership. The only way to reverse the trend is to recapture the spirit of solidarity that animated the European project from the start.

MetLife swings to loss, core profits improve (MarketWatch)
Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET) +0.77% swung to a third-quarter loss as the life insurer recorded a hefty goodwill impairment charge, though operating profit improved. The biggest U.S. insurer has seen its operating profit increase in recent quarters, helped in part by its international expansion. At the same time, very low interest rates have created challenges for the life insurance industry, including MetLife, by damping investment earnings. However, in the latest quarter, Metlife said net investment income rose 2% to $5 billion. Variable investment income, which commonly includes private equity and hedge funds, was $260 million, unchanged from the year-ago period.

Orange County Votes For Four Event-Driven Hedge Funds (Finalternatives)
A Southern California public pension fund has formally hired four event-driven hedge fund managers. The Orange County Employees Retirement System voted last week to award between $26 million and $51 million each to Archer Capital Management, Beach Point Capital Management, Perry Capital Management and Venor Capital Management, Pensions & Investments reports. Exactly how much each firm will get has yet to be determined, but the amount will be fixed by the $10 billion pension’s staff and its hedge fund consultant, Aksia. OCERS heard presentations from the four hedge funds, previously recommended by its staff and board, on Friday.