Hedge Fund News: Paul Singer, Steven Cohen, Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK)

Paul Singer ELLIOTT MANAGEMENTHess CEO warns of hedge fund plans to dismantle company (nj.com)
Hess Corp., the New York-based oil company, said shareholder Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp. is proposing to pay its board nominees fees to liquidate the company. “Under this highly unusual scheme, Elliott would control its directors by potentially paying them millions in cash to effectively dismantle Hess,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Hess said in a letter to shareholders today. Hess is fighting Elliott’s proposal to replace five of the company’s 13 board members at a meeting scheduled for May 16.

Insider-Trading Hedge Fund Manager Whitman Settles With SEC (FINalternatives)
Doug Whitman, a former hedge fund manager convicted of insider-trading last year, has agreed to pay $1.8 million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges. Whitman and his firm traded on confidential information about Google Inc. and Polycom Inc. that he received from former Galleon Group trader Roomy Khan, who testified against him. Khan was his neighbor in California.

Solus Funds Get $1.1 Billion for Bankruptcy Investments (Bloomberg)
Solus Alternative Asset Management LP raised $1.1 billion for two funds that invest in bankruptcy claims and are overseen by a team including Scott Martin and C.J. Lanktree, former co-heads of distressed products at Deutsche Bank AG (DBK). Solus Recovery Fund I and II gathered the money within the last 12 months, the firm said in a letter to clients dated March 5, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News. Martin and Lanktree run the funds, which are closed to new investments, with Christopher Pucillo, the firm’s president and chief investment officer, to whom they report.

Fed’s insider-trading crackdown brings charges in California (Los Angeles Times)
Federal prosecutors accused Matthew Teeple, 41, of San Clemente, with passing along illicit information he allegedly received from David Riley, a former chief information officer at Foundry Networks Inc. Riley, 47, lives in San Jose. Teeple, an analyst for a firm that provided information to a San Francisco-based hedge fund, allegedly passed along the illicit information in 2008. The alleged trading scheme in part involved Foundry’s acquisition by Brocade Communications Systems Inc., another tech company.

Steven Cohen’s Picasso: After Insider Trading Payout, Hedge Fund Billionaire Spends $155 Million On Masterpiece (Huffington Post)
It did not take long for Steven Cohen, the billionaire behind SAC Capital, to get over his $600 million payout to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Not even two weeks after the hedge-fund manager settled over insider trading allegations, the 117th richest man in the world purchased a famous Picasso painting. The price tag on the masterpiece? A whopping $155 million. According to The New York Post’s anonymous source: “Steve bought ‘Le Rêve’ as a gift to himself. This was supposed to be a top- secret sale because of the government investigation and settlement.”

British Budget Offers Tax Breaks For Hedge Fund Managers (FINalternatives)
It is unclear whether British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s plan to cut the price of a pint of beer by a penny will do much to cheer the average recession-weary Briton, but some other aspects of his budget, unveiled last week, will do a great deal to cheer the U.K.’s hedge fund managers. The proposed budget both cuts the top tax rate and does away with a levy on asset managers. Ending the latter, the stamp duty reserve tax, is estimated to save hedge funds and other money managers a total of £145 million per year.

Hedge Funds in Chesapeake Fight Seek to End Intervention (Bloomberg)
Hedge funds holding $250 million in Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) debt asked a judge to withdraw from litigation between the company and bond trustee Bank of New York Mellon Corp. over redemption of bonds. The hedge funds, which were allowed to intervene in the matter in Manhattan federal court, asked U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer yesterday for permission to withdraw, saying it will reduce the number of parties involved and avoid potentially duplicative filings.

Man Group picks new GC as hedge fund’s legal chief leaves (The Lawyer)
Man Group head of legal Jasveer Singh has been appointed as the FTSE250 group’s general counsel following the exit of former Clifford Chance partner Stephen Ross. Singh has been a member of the alternative investment manager’s in-house team since joining from Clifford Chance, where he was an associate. He will sit on the company’s executive committee. He moved to the City hedge fund shortly after Ross’s exit from the magic circle firm in 2003, where the private funds partner had been practice co-head with Jason Glover, now of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (8 September 2003). Ross, meanwhile, has left the company.

Hedge Fund Research – Best Index Provider (hedgeweek)
Kenneth Heinz is President of Chicago-based Hedge Fund Research. Since it was established in 1992, HFR has become the standard bearer for indexation and cutting edge analysis of hedge funds, from strategy performance through to capital inflows and broad market dynamics. Its HFR Database provides fund-level detail on historical performance and has in addition developed a sophisticated fund classification system. This enables users to perform benchmarking and determine relative fund performance within specific sectors and strategies.

Schroders Strikes £424 Million Deal For Cazenove (FINalternatives)
Schroders yesterday agreed to buy Cazenove Capital for £424 million (US$646 million), a move that will unite two of London’s oldest and most august asset and hedge fund managers. Cazenove, which is though to boast the British royal family among its clients, will retain its name. “In combining with Schroders, we will create a pre-eminent independent private-banking and charities business in the U.K., with a broader capability covering investment management, financial planning, deposit-taking and lending services,” Cazenove CEO Andrew Ross said.