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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.

Learn What (Else) Bill Ackman Is Losing Money On This Year May 8 (DealBreaker)
Valeant Pharmaceuticals has already lost Bill Ackman $4 billion, and may still cost him another $2 billion. It has cost him dearly in terms of reputation, if not yet in terms of redemptions. Most importantly, it kept him from his favorite thing in the world, the Ira Sohn Investment Conference, last year. He is not going to let it keep him from the Sohn stage again. After taking a breather from the Sohn Investment Conference last year with a promise to return in 2017, the chief of Pershing Square Capital Management L.P. has signed on to once again offer up investment picks at the annual event…. Valeant had been Mr. Ackman’s investment pick at the event in May, 2015, where he compared Valeant to an early-stage version of Berkshire Hathaway.

Nelson Peltz’s Trian Links GE Performance Target To Immelt’s Bonus (TheStreet)
The deal Nelson Peltz‘s Trian Fund Management struck with General Electric (GE) after ‘intensified’ talks promises to boost the bonuses of CEO Jeffrey Immelt and his senior management team by 20% if they meet new performance targets — and to cut the incentive payouts by the same amount if they fail. The Boston-based conglomerate set a goal for industrial operating profit of $17.2 billion in a Wednesday regulatory filing that cited talks with the New York-based activist hedge fund; it also agreed to reduce structural costs in its manufacturing businesses by $1 billion this year and next to $22.9 billion.

Paul Singer’s New Mantra: Be Like Argentina (DealBreaker)
Elliott Management is certainly keeping busy positioning itself for the widespread global depression that’s heading our way. The hedge fund’s latest project is to get Dutch paint behemoth Akzo Nobel to sell itself to American paint behemoth PPG Industries. Not for a mere $24.19 billion, of course. Paul Singer & co. can see as clearly as Akzo that that’s way too low. But however will Akzo figure out what the right number is if it stubbornly refuses to have a conversation about it? Paul Singer is familiar with adversaries who won’t talk to him. He’s also familiar with how that usually turns out for them. But there is a way to avoid the unpleasantness of a proxy contest to fire the entire board.

Warren Wants SEC to Review Icahn’s Role Advising Trump On Rules (Bloomberg)
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren said the Securities and Exchange Commission should be vigilant in ensuring that billionaire investor Carl Icahn isn’t using his role as an adviser to the Trump administration to gain unfair trading advantages. “I do not understand how we can have someone who continues to trade in a market and is influencing regulatory policy simultaneously,” the Massachusetts Democrat said Thursday at the Senate confirmation hearing for Jay Clayton, President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the SEC. “I want to hear the chair of the SEC say he’s going to look into this and I hope put a stop to it.”

On Ethics of Advisers’ China Deals, Trump Goes Case By Case (Bloomberg)
Washington (AP) — Anthony Scaramucci announced to the world in January that he would be leaving Wall Street for the White House to become President Donald Trump’s top public liaison. Not long after, Scaramucci was told by Trump’s chief of staff that the sale of his hedge fund — a deal that includes a well-known Chinese conglomerate — raised too many ethics issues for him to start work immediately. Scaramucci never left New York. It’s a different story for Gary Cohn. The former Goldman Sachs executive, the man who is now Trump’s economic adviser reported for duty on Day One and has become a constant White House presence, often at the president’s side.

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