Hedge Fund News: Edward Lampert, Andrew Manuel, Och-Ziff Capital

Sears Is Borrowing Money from Its CEO (Again) (The Wall Street Journal)
Sears Holdings said Thursday that it would accept $300 million in debt financing from Edward Lampert’s hedge fund, the latest instance of the company’s chief pumping money into the struggling retailer. ESL Investments Inc. controls about half of the shares of Sears, which reported a quarterly loss on Thursday. Mr. Lampert’s fund has repeatedly stepped in over the past few years to loan the company money. Such moves underscore the unique nature of the relationship between Sears and Mr. Lampert, who serves as the company’s chairman and CEO. The latest $300 million is secured by a junior lien against the company’s inventory, receivables, and other working capital.


LMR Partners Co-Founder Manuel Said to Plan Own Macro Hedge Fund (Bloomberg)
Andrew Manuel, a co-founder of the $2.5 billion hedge-fund firm LMR Partners LLP, is preparing to start his own global macro hedge fund with two partners later this year, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. Manuel left LMR in 2015 and is setting up Ixworth Capital LLP in London, said the people, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The ex-Goldman Sachs Group Inc. trader will be joined by former LMR colleague Sebastien Di Meo, who most recently worked at Symmetry Investments, and Jonathan Ridgway, who used to work for Barclays Plc, the people said. Manuel declined to comment.

Another Nail in the 2-and-20 Coffin (BloombergGadfly)
Hey, look, another hedge fund is throwing a sale! Och-Ziff Capital Management Group is trimming the management fees on some of its main funds — which range from 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent of assets annually — by 25 basis points, as Sabrina Willmer and Saijel Kishan reported this week. No business likes to reduce prices, whether it’s selling alpha or alfalfa. But once one of the big operators does it, it’s hard for everyone else to resist following suit. It was one thing when Tudor Investments trimmed fees last month to 2.25 percent of assets and 25 percent of profits, down from 2.75 percent and 27 percent. That’s like Harry Winston cutting prices on diamonds — the folks at Zales probably won’t get too worried.

Former Director Unveils Disputed Plan for Williams Board (The New York Times)
The Williams Companies, which recently lost a court battle to preserve a takeover by another pipeline operator, is facing a new fight. This time, it is from a former director who owns a big stake in the company and has an unconventional plan to overhaul the entire board. Keith Meister, the managing partner of Corvex Management, which holds a 4 percent stake in Williams, issued an open letter to the rest of the shareholders on Wednesday and submitted the names of 10 nominees for directors at Williams. Investors will vote on board nominees at the company’s annual meeting in November.

Teen Hedge Fund Manager’s Father Accuses Regulator Of ‘Thuggery’ (Yahoo Finance)
Teenage hedge fund manager Jacob Wohl — nicknamed “Wohl of Wall Street” — had his first run-in with a regulator. The National Futures Association (NFA) — a self-regulator for the US futures market — has issued a complaint against the 18-year-old and his (now former) firm, NeX Capital Management, alleging they failed to cooperate with the regulator in its attempted examination of the fund. Back in June, the NFA tried to conduct an unannounced examination into Wohl’s NeX Capital, according to the NFA complaint. The NFA said its team showed up at an address listed for NeX that turned out to be a residence.

China’s Golden Concord Said to Compete for SunEdison Yieldco (Bloomberg)
Golden Concord Holdings Ltd., the Chinese clean-energy group, is seeking to acquire assets from bankrupt U.S. renewable-energy giant SunEdison Inc., people familiar with the company’s plans said. Golden Concord is planning to bid for SunEdison’s controlling stake in TerraForm Power Inc., which owns operating power plants, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak publicly. That would pit Golden Concord against a planned joint bid from Canada’s biggest alternative-asset manager Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and Appaloosa Management LP, the hedge fund led by billionaire David Tepper.

Hedge Funds See Investment Exodus Amid Faltering Performance (The Guardian)
If money talks, then one of the things it has been saying this summer is that investors are no longer interested in hedge funds. Investors withdrew $25.2bn from hedge funds in July, according to eVestments. This is the largest monthly redemption since February 2009, when investors redeemed $28.2bn. This news comes after investors withdrew $23.5bn in June. Overall, in 2016, hedge funds faced a net outflow of $55.9bn. According to Peter Laurelli, vice-president and global head of research at eVestments, 2016 could become the third year on record when investors took out more money than they put in. The main reasons why investors are taking their money elsewhere? Poor performance.