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

Hedge fund kingpin bullish on Apple, says it’s underpriced (Vancouver Sun)
David Einhorn, the hedge-fund manager who warned of a bubble in technology stocks two weeks ago, refined his stance by saying he’s bullish on the industry and that companies including Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) look underpriced. “I’d like to clarify Greenlight’s remarks about a new technology bubble,” Einhorn said today in a conference call held by Greenlight Capital Re Ltd., the reinsurer where he is chairman and oversees investments. “In general, we are bullish on technology and technology stocks.”


Hedge fund chief donates £5m to Natural History Museum (Financial Times)
Facing government cutbacks, London’s Natural History Museum has found a welcome new source of funds: a £5m donation from a hedge fund manager. Sir Michael Hintze, founder of the CQS fund, said he was making the gift because he was “excited about the science” at the museum. Already one of the capital’s most successful tourist attractions, with a record 5.3m visitors last year, the museum contributes “between £4 and £5 of wider economic benefit” for every £1 of government investment, according to a 2010 study by the London School of Economics, cited by Michael Dixon, the museum’s director.

Lansdowne victorious at FN Hedge Fund Awards (Financial News)
Lansdowne Partners picked up the major awards at the fourth annual Financial News Awards for Excellence in Institutional Hedge Fund Management, Europe, at London’s One Mayfair last night. Over 200 senior executives from the hedge fund industry saw Lansdowne Partners take home Best Hedge Fund Manager Overall, and Best Hedge Fund Manager in Long/Short Equities over $3 billion. The flagship $13.8 billion Lansdowne developed markets strategy gained 33.1% last year, while the European hedge fund was up 21.5% and the financials hedge fund gained 23%

Paulson Sees Substantial Upside for Insurer Genworth (Bloomberg)
Billionaire hedge fund investor John Paulson said Genworth Financial Inc (NYSE:GNW) shares will probably rally as the company divests a stake in an Australian unit, and could gain further if the insurer splits itself in two. “If the company chooses to spin off its mortgage-insurance and other life-insurance businesses into two separate companies, there could be substantial additional upside,” the money manager said in a letter to investors discussing first-quarter results at his Paulson & Co. funds.

U.S. billionaire green activist shifts from bomb thrower to team player (Reuters)
As Boston Red Sox fans streamed into Fenway Park last April for an early-season baseball game, a small plane circled above, towing a banner that read “Steve Lynch for Oil Evil Empire.” Downtown, truck-mounted video screens looped attack ads against the Democratic congressman, who was running for a Senate seat. The man footing the bill for this sharp-edged campaign, San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer, called Lynch “Dr. Evil” in a local TV interview because he did not oppose the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the United States, which environmentalists say would worsen climate change.

Pays to be a hedge fund manager (CNBC.com)

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.