March proves a choppy end to a positive quarter for hedge funds (HedgeWeek)
Anthony Lawler, portfolio manager at GAM, notes that despite slightly negative returns for many hedge funds during March the first quarter was positive for three of the four main hedge fund strategies. Managers continue to find opportunities created by dispersion across asset classes and markets. “We continue to be positive on the opportunity set for hedge funds given the dispersion we are seeing within asset classes such as equities, and also the divergence in growth and monetary policy paths around the world,” says Lawler.
MICHAEL LEWIS: David Einhorn Was Basically A ‘Dumb Tourist’ In A Casino (Businessinsider)
Michael Lewis is getting tons of attention for his new book “Flash Boys,” which questions the murky world of high-frequency trading. Lewis concludes that the stock market is rigged, and it hurts both amateur and professional investors. Appearing on Bloomberg TV this morning, Lewis and anchors Stephanie Ruhle and Erik Schatzker lassos in famed hedge fund manager David Einhorn. …It’s worth noting that Einhorn is one of the most accomplished poker players Wall Street has ever seen. So he’d probably take issue with anyone who characterizes him as a dumb card-player or duped fund manager.
SoFi Closes On $80 Million To Expand Its Lending Business (TechCrunch)
Confirming our earlier reporting, the peer-to-peer lender Social Finance said it closed on $80 million in fresh funding, as it looks to expand its lending operations to mortgages and personal loans. The new round was led by the hedge fund Discovery Capital Management and included commitments from Wicklow Capital and the billionaire investor Peter Thiel — who is perhaps as famous for his stance against the necessity of a college education as he is for his investments. Previous investors, Renren, Baseline Ventures, and DCM also participated in the new financing.
George Soros’ real crusade: Legalizing marijuana in the U.S. (WashingtonTimes)
Billionaire philanthropist George Soros hopes the U.S. goes to pot, and he is using his money to drive it there. With a cadre of like-minded, wealthy donors, Mr. Soros is dominating the pro-legalization side of the marijuana debate by funding grass-roots initiatives that begin in New York City and end up affecting local politics elsewhere. Through a network of nonprofit groups, Mr. Soros has spent at least $80 million on the legalization effort since 1994, when he diverted a portion of his foundation’s funds to organizations exploring alternative drug policies, according to tax filings.
Jana Partners Rolls On Despite a Setback in March (InstitutionalInvestorsAlpha)
Barry Rosenstein’s Jana Partners suffered a setback in March. The New York hedge fund firm, which often takes high-profile activist positions, lost 1.5 percent in the month, cutting its gain for the first quarter to 1.7 percent. Since its April 2001 inception, Jana Partners has more than quadrupled the return of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. The firm manages more than $9 billion. The Jana Nirvana Fund, a concentrated version of Jana Partners launched in April 2007 to co-invest in select ideas of Jana Master Fund, lost 2.3 percent in March and is now up 2.7…
Wausau Paper CEO resigns, board chairman retires (Chippewa)
The chief executive at Wausau Paper Corp. (NYSE:WPP) has resigned and will be replaced by a CEO favored by investors interested in selling the company. President and CEO Henry “Hank” Newell will also step down from the company’s board of directors. Wausau Paper says board chairman Thomas Howatt will retire. Daily Herald Media (http://wdhne.ws/1hjYo94 ) says Wausau Paper has been under pressure from a New York hedge fund, Starboard Value LP, which has repeatedly sent letters to other shareholders expressing a lack of confident in the company’s management.