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Hedge Fund News: Ray Dalio, John Paulson, Lansdowne Partners

Bridgewater to Cut Jobs as Dalio Says Some Areas ‘Bloated’ (Bloomberg)
Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund manager, indicated it’s planning to cut jobs as parts of its business have become too large. The firm told clients in a letter that it has 1,700 employees, up from 1,100 five years ago and 150 in 2001, according to a person who saw the letter. The changes follow a shake-up in the management team that occurred earlier this year. The letter — written by founder Ray Dalio and his other top executives — called the changes “conducting a renovation” and described some of Bridgewater’s non-investment areas as “bloated, inefficient, and bureaucratic.”

BRIDGEWATER ASSOCIATES

Billionaire John Paulson Stays Bullish On Pharma As His Merger Strategy Hits The Skids (Forbes)
Billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson remains bullish on the pharmaceutical sector and its prospects of consolidation, even as a raging debate on drug price gouging and tax-dodging merger deals hangs over the industry and cuts into the performance of his struggling hedge fund, Paulson & Co. Paulson’s biggest holdings heading into 2016 — Allergan, Mylan, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Shire and Teva Pharmaceuticals — have all performed poorly, punishing returns. A short-to-medium turn in performance for Paulson hinges of a recovery of these battered-down stocks.

Lansdowne’s Roden Says Hedge-Fund Woes Not the Fault of ETFs (Bloomberg)
Hedge funds perform badly because their investment analysis has failed and not as a result of an increase in exchange-traded and quant funds, according to Stuart Roden, chairman of Lansdowne Partners. Blaming passive investing strategies and volatility for poor performance by hedge funds is a “bad excuse,” Roden said at the Legends 4 Legends alternative investment conference in Amsterdam on Thursday. “As a buyer of those products, anyone who tells you anything different is kind of fooling you.” His London-based firm manages $19 billion.

SunOpta Targeted by Activist Engaged Capital With New Stake (Bloomberg)
SunOpta Inc., the Canadian natural and organic food producer undertaking a strategic review, is being targeted by activist fund Engaged Capital, which disclosed a new 7.5 percent stake. The hedge fund run by Glenn Welling has signed a confidentiality agreement with SunOpta, according to a 13D filing Thursday. Engaged has held talks with the company since it announced its review on June 26, tackling subjects including the structure of any investment by a strategic partner or financial sponsor, and “potential paths to improving operating performance.’’ The shares rose as much as 8 percent in New York and were 5.5 percent higher at $6.88 at 10:46 a.m. in New York, giving SunOpta a market capitalization of $589 million.

Fired Highland Capital Manager Says He Opposed Self-Dealing (Bloomberg)
A former portfolio manager seeks to force Highland Capital Management LP into arbitration over his claim that he was fired after questioning what he described as the firm’s illegal self-dealing with outside investors. Highland said in a court filing that Joshua Terry violated his employment contract by secretly recording his colleagues and investors. The Dallas-based firm said Terry was the one engaged in self-dealing by trying to personally profit at clients’ expense. It’s asking a judge to order him not to disclose confidential information, including recordings of the conversations.

Carl Icahn Won’t Need Buybacks During The Trump Economic Miracle (DealBreaker)
Lots of people think that a President Trump would more or less instantaneously wipe out about half of the stock market’s value. Not Carl Icahn. As Carl sees it, the only thing preventing CEOs from reinvesting in their businesses isn’t the fact that the Carl Icahns of the world are always demanding share buybacks and mergers and the like. No: It’s that they are afraid of “irrational” government regulations. And what could be more rational than a Trump administration? “If you look ahead three years, this economy will be a lot better if Trump gets elected” rather than Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, Icahn said, speaking at the CNBC “Delivering Alpha” event in New York….

Herbalife Is Icahn and Ackman’s Game. Why Play It? (Bloomberg)
Guys, Carl Icahn isn’t looking to sell his entire Herbalife stake. That was so last month. Instead, he’s thinking about potentially buying more — maybe even half the company! There you have it, the latest twist in the Icahn-Ackman game of how far up/down can the stock price go. Quick recap: Bill Ackman, manager of hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management, believes Herbalife is a pyramid scheme worth nothing and has bet a lot of money on this. His rival Icahn takes the opposite stance, betting the stock is worth more than its current price, and he’s now triggered speculation that the maker of nutritional products could get acquired.

Phoenix Sheriff Joe Arpaio May Have New Foe: George Soros (Fox News)
PHOENIX – Joe Arpaio, the self-proclaimed toughest sheriff in America who could face criminal charges for ignoring a judge’s order to stop targeting Latinos in anti-immigration roundups, may now have a new foe as he seeks re-election — George Soros, the billionaire liberal hedge fund tycoon. The Republican sheriff already was battered politically and support for him had been slipping when a group linked to Soros mounted an anti-Arpaio attack in an attempt to weaken his bid for a seventh straight term.