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Hedge Fund News: Eric Mindich, Emanuel J. Friedman, Ray Dalio

Hedge Fund Manager Eric Mindich Shuts Down Eton Park (Reuters)
Thirteen years ago Eric Mindich set an industry record when he raised $3 billion for his new hedge fund Eton Park. Now the fund is being shut down, becoming the year’s most prominent casualty in an increasingly tough trading and fund raising environment. The decision to liquidate comes after a difficult 2016 when Eton Park lost 9 percent and its assets shrunk by $2 billion to the current $7 billion. It was not entirely clear what contributed to the losses; one of the fund’s biggest U.S. stock positions was Microsoft, which gained 12 percent in 2016. “We have made the very difficult decision to return your capital, from a position of relative strength,” Mindich wrote to investors in a letter seen by Reuters.


Hedge Fund Manager Friedman To List Investment Fund In London (Reuters)
U.S. hedge fund manager Emanuel ‘Manny’ Friedman plans to list a fund in London to invest in asset-backed securities and real estate assets put up for sale as a result of regulatory change in the financial sector. Forty-year industry veteran Friedman, co-founder of Friedman Billings Ramsey Group, is well known for being a buyer of distressed securities in the depths of the financial crisis. EJF Investments Ltd said in a statement it would look to list on April 7, with assets worth a net 68.1 million pounds ($85.22 million) and then raise additional capital through a placing program over the next 12 months. EJF Investments will aim for annual risk-adjusted returns of 8-10 percent and be managed by EJF Investments Manager, a unit of EJF Capital, the $7.4 billion hedge fund which Friedman runs and which invests across debt, equity and securitization assets.

Hedge Fund King Ray Dalio Shares His Views On Global Populism (CNBC)
Ray Dalio calls it one of the most powerful forces shaping economic conditions. It’s so potent that he and a team at Bridgewater Associates, the $150 billion hedge fund he founded, published a 61-page paper on it Wednesday. The research is titled, “Populism: The Phenomenon.” Dalio defines populism as “a rebellion of the common man against the elites, and to some extent, against the system.” Over the last year, it has become a tremendously influential force, he said. He tallied the share of votes received by populist candidates in developed countries around the world to create an index.

Starboard Value’s Jeff Smith Is Top Activist For Naming New Board Members (TheStreet)
This is part of a series of stories that comprise TheStreet’s Blue Chip Studio, which will illuminate issues related to corporate board performance, activism, dealmakers and personalities revealed by analysis of data generated by BoardEx, a business unit of TheStreet. Last month Perrigo (PRGO) sold its royalty stream for a multiple sclerosis drug in a $2.85 billion transaction that was struck on the heels of a deal that gave activist fund Starboard Value‘s Jeff Smith five director seats on the company’s board. The agreement and board seat settlement was a big success for Smith – who had been urging Perrigo to conduct a strategic review for the drug, Tysabri.

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