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Hedge Fund News: Martin Whitman, Michael Platt & Lansdowne Partners

Credit Hedge Fund Eagle River Closes (FINalternatives)
Last year has claimed its last hedge-fund casualty. New York-based Eagle River Asset Management closed at the end of 2013, The Wall Street Journal reports. The credit specialist was done in by its primary backer’s decision to redeem from the firm—and its lackluster prospects for replacing the lost money. FRM, which was acquired by the Man Group after seeding Eagle River, invested with the hedge fund just months after its founding in 2011, taking a stake in the management company. The “significant investment” gave Eagle River more than $100 million to work with, but the firm never grew much from their, topping out at $150 million before FRM elected to redeem.

Compuware reaches deal with hedge fund, looks to replace board members (Detroit Free Press)
Compuware Corporation (NASDAQ:CPWR) announced today that it has reached an accord with its largest shareholder and one-time suitor, a New York hedge fund that agitated for cost cuts and other changes at the Detroit-based tech company. The company proposes to replace two more longtime members of its board of directors with selections to please the Elliott Management hedge fund, which had expressed concerns about a lack of tech expertise and heavy metro Detroit makeup of Compuware’s board. The agreement avoids a hedge fund-led proxy battle for control of Compuware, but does not rule out the possibility that the 41-year-old firm could get bought by another hedge fund or private equity firm.

Sandy Weill Named Chairman of Ex-Steven Cohen Reinsurer (San Francisco Chronicle)
Sanford “Sandy” Weill, the former head of Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C), was named chairman of the board at Hamilton Insurance Group Ltd., which runs the reinsurer that hedge fund manager Steven A. Cohen exited. “Sandy Weill is an icon in the financial services sector,” Hamilton Chief Executive Officer Brian Duperreault said today in a statement. “I have no doubt that our goal of establishing a leading insurance and reinsurance business will be realized.” Cohen, the billionaire founder of SAC Capital Advisors LP, sold the reinsurer last month after his hedge fund reached a $1.8 billion deal to end a criminal investigation into insider trading. Duperreault, the former CEO of insurance broker Marsh & McLennan Cos., is partnering with quantitative hedge fund firm Two Sigma Investments LLC at the Bermuda-based reinsurer.

West Face Capital launches $600-million special situations fund (Financial Post)
West Face Capital Inc., the hedge-fund firm that accelerated the overhaul of Maple Leaf Foods Inc., opened a credit fund to provide alternative debt financing to companies that don’t access traditional markets. West Face, led by Chief Executive Officer Greg Boland, formed the Alternative Credit Fund in December 2013 and plans to raise $600-million for the offering, according to an e-mailed statement from the Toronto-based company. The fund currently has $400-million in commitments.

John Taylor Vows Return to Currency Management After Bankruptcy (San Francisco Chronicle)
John Taylor, the founder of what was once the world’s biggest currency hedge fund, said he plans re- enter the foreign-exchange asset-management business again one day in the wake of the bankruptcy of FX Concepts LLC. “We are writing our weekly newsletter and have lots of prospects,” Taylor said in a telephone interview today from New York. “We expect in the future to be bigger and better. I’m very glad to be back to doing research and writing. I suspect in the future we’ll be managing money again.”

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