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Hedge Fund News: Jeffrey Smith, Chris Hohn & Lansdowne Partners

Starboard Succeeds in Replacing Entire Darden Board (WSJ)
Starboard Value LP succeeded in replacing the entire board of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) +0.18% according to a preliminary count of the vote of shareholders, the company said Friday. The New York hedge fund, which owns 8.8% of Darden and is the company’s second-biggest shareholder, will have two of its own partners on the board along with 10 other directors it nominated. The new board has several restaurant-industry veterans, including Bradley Blum, who was previously president of Olive Garden. Starboard Chief Executive Jeffrey Smith, who is one of the hedge fund’s two representatives on the board, said in a statement that the new board is “excited” to get to work.

Jeff Smith

Northern Trust provides hedge fund administration to BlueHive Capital (HedgeWeek)
As part of the broad mandate, Northern Trust will also provide depositary services. “We selected Northern Trust Hedge Fund Services for its industry-leading technology and commitment to transparency,” says Sebastien Boucher, chief investment officer and founder of BlueHive Capital. “Whether it’s providing more transparency to investors or complying with regulatory requirements, the demand for data is growing and Northern Trust’s innovative technology solutions help us to meet those demands.” Based in Paris, BlueHive Capital was launched by former Natixis CIB’s global alpha team…

Third Point Among Biggest DSM Owners, Pushes Nutrition (BusinessWeek)
U.S. activist investor Third Point LLC, which has asked Dutch chemical maker Royal DSM NV (DSM) to focus on nutritional additives, is now the company’s third-biggest shareholder. The New York-based hedge fund, which helped push The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE:DOW) in the U.S. to divest assets, now owns a 3.004 percent stake, according to a regulatory filing last week. While DSM has resisted shareholder calls to divest its 4.3 billion-euro ($5.5 billion) legacy plastics and chemicals units, the company has in recent weeks advanced efforts to sell part of them, according to people familiar with the matter.

Finisterre Hires Barclays Vet As Credit Research Chief (Finalternatives)
Finisterre Capital has named its first head of credit research, bolstering its capabilities in fixed-income. The London-based hedge fund named Christopher Buck to fill the role. Buck joins the US$2.6 billion firm from Barclays Capital, where he was head of Latin America corporate credit research. “The institutional inflows over the last year have emphasized our ability to deliver alpha for our clients in a format that meets their needs,” Finisterre co-founder Paul Crean said. “During this period, we have been consistently looking to expand our team.”

Computer-Driven Programs Reboot in Choppy Market (InstitutionalInvestorsAlpha)
It looks like this year’s commodity trading adviser rally is for real, as 2014 is shaping up to be the best year for computer-driven hedge funds since 2008. Most of these funds, which are the computer-driven siblings of human-driven macro funds, extended their gains in September and are easily beating the equity indexes, underscoring once again that CTAs are not closely correlated with the stock market. Of course, this has been a bitter reality since the stock market’s rally began in March 2009, as many CTAs and trend followers have generated one or more losing years.

Cramer: Hedge funds imploding (CNBC)

Hohns Trade Accusations as $1.3 Billion Divorce Case Nears End (BusinessWeek)
Hedge fund founder Chris Hohn and his wife Jamie Cooper-Hohn traded accusations against each other in court today as their long-running dispute about how to divide their $1.3 billion marital estate draws to a conclusion. Hohn was seeking to give trustees of the couple’s charity information that allegedly shows Cooper-Hohn breached a fiduciary duty or engaged in “criminal activity” in her role at the $4.3 billion Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Judge James Holman said at a hearing in London. Cooper-Hohn’s lawyer, Martin Pointer, said Hohn was in contempt of court for supplying documents from the case to a third party.

Hedge Funds Lansdowne, Lone Pine Bet Against U.K. Grocers (BusinessWeek)
Hedge-fund firms are betting against Britain’s struggling supermarkets amid speculation the worst isn’t over for the industry. Lansdowne Partners LP and Lone Pine Capital LLC are short Tesco Corporation (USA) (NASDAQ:TESO), J Sainsbury Plc (SBRY) and WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc (MRW), according to data compiled by Bloomberg, with Lansdowne holding the largest short position in all three companies. Lone Pine is also betting against Marks & Spencer Group Plc (MKS), a position it increased according to filings this month. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said last week that his investment in Tesco was a “huge mistake” as Britain’s traditional supermarket leaders struggled to cope with a shift in shopping habits.

Greenlight Seeks Big Changes At Recently Spun-Off Civeo (Finalternatives)
Four months in the oil-worker housing services is quite enough for Civeo Corp., according to Greenlight Capital. The activist hedge fund has bought nearly 10% of the company, which spun off from Oil States International in June. Civeo is in the business of housing oil-sands workers in Canada and Australia—but Greenlight would like to see it become a real-estate investment trust. The New York-based firm also wants CEO Bradley Dodson replaced, saying he had “lost the support and confidence” of the company’s shareholders, as well as an “aggressive dividend policy.”

Faber: Global Economy Not Healing (TheGuruInvestor)
Marc Faber of the Gloom, Boom & Doom Report doesn’t see much he likes in the global economy right now. “I think it’s quite funny because everywhere you go, up to a little while ago, there was great optimism about this recovering the global economy when in fact Europe is not recovering and in fact it is slowing down,” Faber tells FOX Business Network. “In Asia and in other emerging economies we have a very meaningful slowdown in economic activity. I wouldn’t call all the emerging economies being in recession yet, but it’s just very little growth in present time in real terms and in some cases it has been a downturn, a meaningful downturn, like say in retail sales in Hong Kong or in Singapore…

Investors cut hedge fund bets in October (Reuters)
Hedge fund investors pulled out more cash than they invested in October, part of their quarter-end portfolio adjustments, data showed on Friday. The SS&C GlobeOp Capital Movement Index, which calculates monthly hedge fund subscriptions minus redemptions, fell 1 percent in October to 148.58 points. That compares with a rise of 0.6 percent in September. “Net flows were negative for the month, representing typical quarter-end rebalancing,” said Bill Stone, chairman and CEO of SS&C Technologies. The index compiled by the fund administrator is based on data provided by its clients and represents about 10 percent of assets invested in the hedge fund sector globally.

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