Hedge Fund News: T Boone Pickens, Andrew Hall, Citi

BP CAPITALPickens Hedge Fund Soars On Oil (Finalternatives)
T. Boone Pickens, who made his billions on oil, is adding to them on the back of the commodity this year. Pickens’ BP Capital is up double-digits this year, he told Reuters, thanks to its bets on black gold. “We’ve done well in the oil markets,” Pickens said, and he plans to continue to do so.

Citi to borrow $410 million from Paulson & Co hedge funds: Sources (IndiaTimes)
The blows keep coming for hedge fund manager John Paulson, with Citi Private Bank deciding it will withdraw $410 million from his Paulson & Co hedge fund, according to people familiar with the decision. Citi will redeem from the flagship Advantage portfolios, which have recorded double-digit losses so far this year, as well as the Merger and Recovery funds, which have made gains in 2012.

Brookfield squares off against U.S. hedge fund Pershing Square over sale of GGP (CanadianBusiness)
Toronto’s Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (TSX:BAM.A), the largest shareholder of General Growth Properties, is squaring off against a U.S. activist hedge fund that wants the U.S. mall owner to put itself up for sale. New York hedge fund Pershing Square Capital — which successfully overhauled management at CP Railway (TSX:CP) earlier this year — filed a letter Thursday asking GGP’s board of directors to form a special committee, independent of Brookfield directors, to consider the sale of the company, which has successfully emerged from bankruptcy.

Ralcorp shares gain; hedge fund presses for action (MarketWatch)
An activist hedge fund on Thursday called on Ralcorp Holdings Inc. RAH +2.12% to sell itself or explore other strategic options, voicing displeasure over the private-label food maker’s performance since rejecting a $5.2 billion buyout offer from ConAgra Foods Inc. CAG -0.64% last year. Corvex Management LP, while disclosing a 5.13% stake in Ralcorp consisting of stock and options, said disappointing earnings, an inability to file quarterly financials on time and poor communication with investors and analysts have hurt Ralcorp’s share price.

Emerging markets hedge funds grow in number and sophistication (HedgeFundsReview)
Emerging markets hedge funds grew in number during Q2 2012. Hedge Fund Research’s emerging markets sub-indexes posted strong performance, but the composite index declined, resulting in a drop in AUM. The number of emerging markets hedge funds reached an all-time high in the second quarter. Despite market volatility, regional emerging markets funds delivered strong performance.

This $21 Billion Hedge Fund Manager is Buying Precious Metals… Should You Follow His Lead? (StreetAuthority)
After someone turns a couple hundred million dollars into billions in a few short years, it seems worthwhile to pay attention to what they do in the future. John Paulson is best known for betting against the housing market in 2006. His fund started with about $150 million, and he delivered gains of more than $20 billion to his investors by the end of 2009. Paulson then moved into gold, allocating 44% of his $21 billion hedge fund to the sector. And his big position in that market delivered big gains.

Gawker Publishes Mitt Romney’s Offshore Hedge Fund Holdings (HedgeCo)
More than 950 pages of hedge fund audits, statements, and investor letters have been published by online magazine Gawker, naming over 20 entities the presidental hopeful has invested in. …Romney says he won’t disclose his financial records as his family does not want to show how much he has donated to the Mormon church.

Stock Rankings According To Hedge Fund Investing (Part 6) (SeekingAlpha)
The hedge funds, pros, etc. bought big in KMI, VOD, FB, and JNJ during the previous quarter, and because none of those stocks have outperformed the index since the previous quarter’s end, they represent excellent value and strong buys. My system of buying stocks in which a lot of hedge funds bought has achieved about 4% alpha over the past 15 months, with articles to document the returns. …Hedge funds and institutional investors must publish their investment activity each quarter for all the world to see.

APB Financial Group and Hedge Fund Solutions Launch A New Series of Interviews Involving Companies Targeted by Activist Shareholders (OurMidland)
Greg Taxin of the Clinton Group will be the first guest in a new series of interviews on shareholder activism co-sponsored by APB Financial Group Shareholder Rights Division and Hedge Fund Solutions. Mr. Taxin will be interviewed by Damien Park, Managing Partner at Hedge Fund Solutions. “The announcement of the invitation-only series comes as APB Financial Group LLC launches its Shareholder Rights Division,” says CEO Steven Abernathy. “We are pleased to offer a forum where management, existing company shareholders and prospective investors can intelligently discuss shareholder value-creating initiatives, ideas and strategies. Mr. Taxin’s business acumen, expertise, and track record of successful activist campaigns make him an ideal first interview to launch this program with our partner Hedge Fund Solutions.”

Andrew Hall’s Commodity Hedge Fund, Austenback Down 10% YTD (ValueWalk)
Austenback Capital Management, a commodity based hedge fund was founded in 2008, by Andrew Hall, who also is the also chief executive of Phibro Trading, a century-old commodities trading firm. Hall was driven by his past success in the oil and gas commodities markets, during his time at Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C), which was capped by a hefty bonus, as the oil prices rallied to highs of $147 per barrel, at the time, notes Reuters. The hedge fund, that invests largely in Oil related products, with approximately 4.7 billion worth of assets under management, was up 4% during the month of July.

1st Ind. resident gets check from restitution fund (vcStar)
An Indiana man who lost his life savings to a financial scam has become the first person compensated for some of his losses by a state fund. Steve Brodie received a $15,000 check Thursday from Indiana’s Securities Restitution Fund. Brodie lost his life savings and retirement nest egg to a hedge fund scam. Secretary of State Connie Lawson says the fund state lawmakers created in 2010 can “help hard-working Hoosiers rebuild” their finances after scams. The fund was established with an initial $2 million investment from a Securities Division account that’s funded by fines paid by violators.

SS&C Technologies Continues Relationship with Aussie Firm (HedgeFund)
Australian managed accounts provider Investment Administration Services has renewed its strategic partnership with financial services software firm SS&C Technologies Holdings. Connecticut-based SS&C announced that IAS will continue to use SS&C’s global wealth platform to support its managed account business. The two firms have been working together since 2004.

Brevan Howard’s Master Fund becomes its weakest link (CityWire)
It was once the jewel in Brevan Howard’s crown, but it seems the flagship Master Fund is capitulating to the market turmoil. Over the six months ended in June, the $26.7 billion vehicle directly accessible only by a wealthy elite, has seen its US dollar shares slide by 3.63%, with the fund’s underlying performance the weakest of seven allocated to by BH Global, a listed hedge fund also managed by Brevan Howard.

Olivetree appoints Charlotte Wall as head of product sales (HedgeWeek)
Olivetree Financial Group, an equity brokerage and technology firm, has appointed Charlotte Wall to managing director and global head of product sales in London and New York. Wall will begin her new role on 1 November 2012. Her key responsibilities will be to head up global sales of Olivetree Solutions’ OTAS platform to buy-side institutions, including asset managers and hedge funds.

Japan funds contest insider trading claims (FT)
Two funds at the centre of Japan’s insider trading scandal are contesting charges that they traded on non-public information, in a rare challenge to the country’s financial regulator. Japan Advisory, a hedge fund that was slapped with a Y370,000 ($4,700) fine by the Financial Services Agency for insider trading and had its licence revoked for engaging in activities it was not authorised to, has written to the regulator saying it intends to bring the matter to the FSA’s hearing procedure, which is conducted by internal administrative law judges.

Seven Sages Capital On The Move, Long-Short Activist Hedge Fund Announces International Raising Push (EinNews)
Seven Sages Capital a long-short activist hedge fund, ranked as the 2010 best performing hedge fund under 100 million by Bloomberg financial information services announces an international asset raising and expansion move. Mark Malik Executive Fund Manager at Seven Sages Capital LP (SSC), located in New York City’s financial district, is pleased to announce the expansion of the company’s international asset raising endeavors. Effective immediately, Seven Sages Capital a long-short activist hedge fund will initiate a strong raising push to reach larger asset growth.

Hewlett-Packard Shares—Cheap Is No Reason to Buy (CNBC)
That’s what the trading community is saying this morning in the aftermath of Hewlett-Packard’s disappointing report — PC sales down 10 percent? …But there are no enthusiastic buyers for HPQ stock. Volume is huge — well north of 50 million shares just prior to 1pm ET, normal volume is 19 million shares for the full day — but the stock gapped down almost 5 percent at the open.

Soros fund hs 8 per cent stake in GPG (NZCity)
A private investment fund linked to billionaire investor George Soros has appeared on the register of Guinness Peat Group, which is winding down its portfolio of assets to return funds to shareholders. Quantum Strategic Partners, a fund managed by Soros Fund Management, has raised its stake in GPG to 7.9 per cent, GPG said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange. The existence of the Soros fund as a GPG shareholder had not previously been disclosed.

Forest Announces Certified Annual Meeting Results (HeraldOnline)
Forest Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: FRX) (“Forest”) today announced that IVS Associates, Inc. (“IVS”), the independent inspector of elections, has certified the final voting results for the Company’s Annual Meeting, which was held on August 15, 2012. The certified results confirm that nine of the Company’s ten director nominees were elected to the Forest Board of Directors. The IVS report has also confirmed that one of Carl Icahn’s four nominees, Pierre Legault, has been elected to the Board. Forest’s board will now consist of: Nesli Basgoz, M.D.; Christopher J. Coughlin; Kenneth E. Goodman; Pierre Legault; Gerald M. Lieberman; Lawrence S. Olanoff, M.D., Ph.D.; Lester B. Salans, M.D.; Brenton L. Saunders; Howard Solomon; and Peter J. Zimetbaum, M.D.

Time to have a plan for the next commodities bust (Macleans)
Andrew Hepburn is a former hedge fund researcher. He writes on commodities, the stock market and the financial industry – but without the jargon. …People like Michael Burry, David Einhorn, and Canada’s own Prem Watsa saw their material and reputational worth skyrocket as a result of immensely contrarian investment decisions they made linked to the credit crisis.

Paul Smith exits Triple A for CFA Institute (AsianInvestor)
Paul Smith is stepping down as director of Triple A Partners, the firm he established in 2007, to join the CFA Institute as managing director of Asian operations. Triple A began as a hedge-fund seeding business, but investor appetite for Asian hedge funds has been poor since so many funds underperformed during 2008-2010. Global investor appetite for risk has also shrivelled, to the detriment of the region’s hedge fund industry.

Philadelphia Financial launches international private placement life insurance and annuity business (Opalesque)
Philadelphia Financial, a US-provider of private placement life insurance for high net worth individuals has announced that it is adding an international operation through the launch of a new Bermuda office. This launch follows a recent July transaction in which the firm acquired the private placement insurance unit of Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. The company has established two Bermuda domiciled life insurance companies – Philadelphia Financial Life Assurance Company (Bermuda), Ltd. and Philadelphia Financial Life International, Ltd. Both companies are wholly owned subsidiaries of Philadelphia Financial Group, Inc. The launch supports the company’s strategy of growth through acquisition, and building both U.S. and international distribution.

Hedge fund firms accepting screens to get faith-based business (PIOnline)
Hedge fund managers hungry for institutional assets are increasingly willing to incorporate exclusionary screens into their investment approaches to keep portfolios in line with the socially responsible investment values of church-affiliated investors. It was nearly impossible before the financial crisis of 2008-’09 to convince hedge fund managers to share the contents of their portfolios with investors, much less to apply any type of constraint to the managers’ investment strategies.

In Effort to Curb Money Market Funds, a Plan B Is Considered (NYTimes)
After the failure of one effort to overhaul a major part of the mutual fund industry, top government officials worked on Thursday to find alternative ways to rein in what they see as a systemic threat to the financial system. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and other top regulators were given sweeping powers after the 2008 financial crisis that would allow them to force new rules on money market funds, a popular type of mutual fund that has taken some of the blame for the crisis. On Wednesday evening, the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mary L. Schapiro, announced unexpectedly that she was calling off her agency’s long-running effort to change rules for money funds.

Brazil’s Hedge Funds Crank Up the Risk Dial (InstitutionalInvestor)
Brazilian hedge fund managers historically haven’t had to work that hard to earn good returns. They have used the country’s sky-high interest rates as the basis of their investment strategy, often effortlessly outperforming equity markets as rates were in the double digits. But since August of last year, with rates having been slashed to single digits, investors are starting to question this strategy. They are demanding that hedge fund managers invest in riskier assets — from corporate bonds to equities — to bolster returns. This sea change has the potential to transform the hedge fund industry in Brazil — that is, if inflation, a constant worry in the country, does not force a retreat from the lower-rate policy.

Initial nominations announced for AsiaHedge Awards (HedgeFundIntelligence)
With 11 of the 12 months that count now in the record books, we are delighted to announce the initial nominations for this year’s AsiaHedge Awards, to be held on 25 October at the Island Shangri-La Hotel in Hong Kong. As in previous years, our main aim with the awards is to let the numbers do the talking. The nominations and eventual winners will be decided again by a quantitative process which aims to recognise the twin aims of hedge…