Hedge Fund News: Steve Cohen, David Harding, Bill Ackman

Hedge Fund Aurelius Denies Lawsuit Against Petrobras (Buenos Aires Herald)
Aurelius Capital Management, one of the main plaintiffs against Argentina in New York District Judge Thomas Griesa’s courtroom, has denied being part in a lawsuit filed against Brazilian state-owned oil company Petrobras, in response to accusations by Argentina’s Economy Minister Axel Kicillof.

Hedge Fund Manager Andurand Strikes Gold Again By Betting On Oil Crash (Reuters)
Energy hedge fund Andurand Capital returned 38 percent in 2014 betting on the collapse in oil prices, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday, emerging as one of the biggest winners from the near halving in crude since June. French fund manager Pierre Andurand, who made his name in 2008 by calling the sharp rise and subsequent collapse in oil prices that year at his BlueGold fund, launched Andurand Capital in 2013.

Tudor Is Said to Close Oldest Hedge Fund After 30 Years (Bloomberg)
Billionaire Paul Tudor Jones plans to close his oldest hedge fund after 30 years because of the cost of running the fund relative to its size, according to a person familiar with the matter. Jones’s $13 billion hedge-fund firm Tudor Investment Corp. will return money to investors in its $300 million Tudor Futures Fund, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The fund, run by Jones, 60, posted gains every year since its inception, the person said.

Love Him or Hate Him, Bill Ackman Now Runs the World’s Top Hedge Fund (Bloomberg)
Ackman, 48, is one of the most famous hedge-fund activists in the world. Just about everyone in the room knew about the tensions between the two men. Earlier in the year, Ackman had teamed up with one drug company, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (VRX), to take over another, Allergan Inc. — a client of Lipton’s firm, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Both sides had sued; each was accusing the other of misconduct.

Steve Cohen Posts Big Gain in 2014 (New York Times)
If Steven A. Cohen’s investment firm were operating as a hedge fund, it would have been one of the industry’s most profitable in 2014. Mr. Cohen’s family office, Point72 Asset Management, generated a gross profit of $2.5 billion to $3 billion, said several people briefed on the firm’s performance who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Hedge Fund Robots Crushed Human Rivals in 2014 (CNBC)
The hedge fund robots are winning again. That’s a key lesson from 2014, when computer algorithm-led investing produced stellar returns, beating most gut-driven human managers and dramatically recovering most of their losses from 2011, 2012 and 2013.

SEC, Investors Preparing for Hedge Fund Marketing “Free-For-All” (Forbes)
In December 2011, to great media fanfare, John Kinsella, a well-known poet, withdrew his name from consideration for the Poetry Book Society’s prestigious TS Elliot Prize. The reason? That year the prize was sponsored by Aurum Funds, a hedge fund, which donated money when the Society lost its public grant from the British government. As you would expect from a poet, Kinsella was not at a loss for words. He memorably referred to hedge funds as the “very pointy end of capitalism.” Regardless of the dip in performance across the industry in 2011, $67 billion flowed into hedge funds last year, with the overall industry thought to exceed $1.7 trillion. While hedge funds did worse than the leading equities index, the S&P 500, many individual hedge funds did phenomenally well.

Hedge fund slams Fortescue (Brisbane Times)
PROMINENT hedge fund manager and short seller Jim Chanos has singled out Fortescue Metals as a ”value trap” stock, telling a New York conference that shares in billionaire Andrew Forrest’s company will fall ”materially”.In a presentation to Grant’s Spring Conference, a private investment forum, this month, Mr Chanos, the boss of Kynikos Associates, told investors he feared iron ore miner Fortescue had ”a somewhat promotional management team”. He singled out the company headed by billionaire Andrew ”Twiggy” Forrest as the global example of a ”value trap” in the ”iron ore rush”, adding that he was betting against the company.

Hedge Fund Manager RK Capital Planning New Product in Metals (Bloomberg)
RK Capital Management LLP plans to introduce a hedge fund that will bet only on rising metals prices, with a goal of raising as much as $1 billion. The Red Kite Real Return Fund Ltd. will invest in industrial and precious metals and will appeal to investors who look at returns over six to 12 months, David Lilley, co-founder of RK Capital Management, said in an interview in Lausanne, Switzerland, today. The London-based fund will start June 1 and may close to new investors should it reach its maximum target, he said.

Hedge-Fund Titan Pledges $25-Million for Columbia U. Business School (Philanthropy.com)
The billionaire philanthropist Leon Cooperman has donated $25-million to his alma mater, Columbia University, to support construction of a new home for the New York institution’s Graduate School of Business, Forbes reports.

Hedge Fund Vets Form New Global Credit Firm (Hedgefund.net)
Global credit hedge fund firm MeehanCombs may be a new kid on the block but the people behind it are seasoned pros. Eli Combs left his managing director post at $2.6 billion hedge fund Alden Capital on Friday to join industry veterans Matt Meehan and Jim Plohg in forming the Greenwich, Conn.-based firm. Combs will serve as president, Meehan as chief investment officer and portfolio manager, and Plohg as chief operating officer and general counsel.

Sealy Directors Under Hedge-Fund Criticism Lose Votes (Businessweek)
Sealy came under criticism in a March 11 letter from H Partners Management LLC, a New York-based hedge fund that owns 15 percent of the company. H Partners accused KKR of overloading the Trinity, North Carolina-based bedding maker with debt and making strategic errors that reduced its earnings by half. Sealy called the claims “combative” and unconstructive. In a March 23 letter, the company said KKR “has been a responsible partner” and said the board’s composition meets New York Stock Exchange guidelines for independence. Gemma Hart, a spokeswoman for Sealy at Brunswick Group, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Romney Holds Big-Money Fundraiser at N.Y. Billionaire’s Townhouse (TheDailyBeast)
The Republican candidate has accepted donations from controversial hedge-fund billionaire John Paulson, but Thursday night he made their association more explicit by allowing Paulson to host a fundraiser, Ben Jacobs reports.

Sloan prof. and son in hedge fund fraud (MIT)
MIT Sloan School of Management Professor Gabriel Bitran PhD ’75 and his son Marco Bitran ’97 have agreed to pay $4.8 million to settle hedge fund fraud charges brought against them by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the SEC said on Friday. The report stated that the Bitrans, on multiple counts, misrepresented their firms’ historic performance, strategy, and investments to investors and media. In 2005, Gabriel founded GMB Capital Management (GMB Management), stating that the firm would manage hedge funds using the quantitative models he had developed, according to the SEC’s order.