Hedge Fund News: David Einhorn, Michael Hintze & Lansdowne Partners

Astenbeck Capital Posts 3.1% Gain in April (Wall Street Journal)
Astenbeck Capital Management, the $3.4 billion commodity hedge-fund firm run by oil trader Andy Hall, gained 3.1% in April, continuing a rebound from its biggest annual loss last year, according to investor documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. In addition to oil, Mr. Hall’s largely bullish fund trades in markets for refined-oil products and natural gas, among others. Prices of many of these commodities jumped last month amid expectations for higher gasoline exports and worries that natural-gas stockpiles will be too low at the start of the next heating season.

Tech selloff left hedge funds lagging in April: HFR (MarketWatch)
Hedge funds saw a small decline in April, continuing to lag the overall performance of the stock market in 2014 as a rout for once high-flying tech stocks offset gains elsewhere, according to the latest figures from analysis firm Hedge Fund Research Inc. The company said its HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index declined 0.17% in April, marking a second consecutive decline. The index hadn’t dropped two months in a row since April-May 2012. For the first four months of the year, the index is up 0.9%, lagging a 2.6% return by the S&P 500 (including dividends) over the same stretch and a nearly 3% return for the Barclays Capital Government/Credit Bond Index.

Not a Single Woman Among Top 50 Hedge Fund Managers (Vanity Fair)
A new ranking of the Top 50 hedge fund managers of 2013 features exactly zero women, but it does feature 25 men who raked in $21.15 billion in compensation. That’s a 50 percent increase over 2012, and the most since 2010. All this despite the fact that most hedge funds didn’t even outperform the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index. All of that fancy math comes courtesy of Institutional Investor’s Alpha, whose report leads today’s Dealbook. There are some satisfying nuggets for those who enjoy their one-percent news with a side of schadenfreude. Take, for example, Raymond Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund. Dalio took home $600 million last year, despite giving his investors returns of 3.5 to 5.3 percent. Compare that to the S&P 500, which climbed 32.4 percent over the same period.

UK hedge fund industry booms despite wider slowdown in Europe (HedgeWeek)
The majority of European hedge fund managers that have set up business over recent years have been in the UK, data from Preqin’s Hedge Fund Analyst shows. The UK is also the most prominent country in terms of hedge funds being launched in Europe, representing approximately 50 per cent of all known European hedge fund launches in 2013 and 2014 YTD. UK-based hedge fund managers have seen a net increase in assets under management (AUM) of around USD57bn between January 2013 and April 2014, in contrast to hedge fund managers based in France, Spain and Germany which have seen a net decrease in assets over the same time period.

Bayou fund founder seeks to leave prison early, cites health (Reuters)
Samuel Israel, a hedge fund manager who faked his own suicide to avoid prison after admitting to running a $450 million fraud, is trying to shorten his 22-year sentence or be set free, saying his health has worsened and authorities can’t take care of him. According to a Wednesday court filing, the founder of Bayou Group LLC nearly died last year after officials at the federal prison complex in Butner, North Carolina failed to replace the battery for his pacemaker, only doing so after he fell, hit his head and lost consciousness.