Bill Walton, Old Einhorn Enemy, Makes A Comeback With Trump Role (Bloomberg)
Bill Walton was at the top of Washington’s finance establishment when he ran Allied Capital Corp. and sat on the Riggs Bank board alongside the city’s titans. Then the trouble began. Hedge fund manager David Einhorn accused Allied in 2002 of inflating the value of its holdings, sparking a fight that lasted years. A subsidiary that loaned to small businesses agreed to settle fraud claims with the Justice Department for $26.3 million in 2010, an executive went to prison and Allied, hobbled by the financial crisis, was sold. So was Riggs, after it was fined $16 million for helping former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and Equatorial Guinea officials hide funds.
Cognizant Technology Can Do This The Easy Way Or The Paul Singer Way (DealBreaker)
IT-outsourcer Cognizant Technology CEO Francisco D’Souza returned to work after Thanksgiving to find that most unwelcome thing on his desk: A fat envelope with a return address on West 57th Street. Enclosed therein was Elliott Management’s take on his company, which boils down to: Stop wasting money trying to grow, because if you hadn’t noticed that’s not happening anymore, and start sending that money to us. Of course, no CEO likes to find out that Paul Singer just made his biggest-ever initial bet on his company. But it could have been so much worse. After all, it was just a letter and not legal service.
Samsung Sends Careful Message With Revamping Talks (The New York Times)
Samsung Electronics has set a cautious tone with Elliott Management, an activist hedge fund run by Paul Singer. The South Korean electronics giant, part of the larger Samsung empire that is controlled by the family of its chairman, Lee Kun-hee, says it will consider using a holding company structure. It is a measured but welcome response to the activist investor’s revamping proposals. Plans to increase dividends and buy back more stock also show that the company is serious about improving relations with its shareholders.
Tybourne Capital’s Anand Plans Asia-Focused Hedge Fund (Bloomberg)
Amar Anand, managing director and sector head at Tybourne Capital Management, is preparing to leave the Hong Kong-based money manager to start his own global Asia-focused hedge fund, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. Auroville Investment Management, also based in Hong Kong, will start trading a long-short equity fund April 1, the person said, requesting anonymity because the plans haven’t been publicly disclosed. The fund will use data science to complement its fundamental research methods and target annual returns of about 15 percent, the person said.