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Hedge Fund News: T Boone Pickens, Edward Lampert & BlueCrest Capital Management

PICKENS: I Think Mitt Romney Is Thinking About Running Again (BusinessInsider)
Last Friday morning, billionaire energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens was in a meeting with another politically active hedge fund manager in New York City. The meeting between the two included a broad discussion on the Republican presidential field for 2016. Pickens told Business Insider later that morning that his colleague suggested there was “no prospect” 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney would run again. However, Pickens said he believes Romney is considering it since his past policy positions seem prescient.

BP CAPITAL

Goldman-Backed Hedge Fund Up 9% Marks Macro Rebound (BusinessWeek)
Todd Edgar, like most macro hedge-fund managers, couldn’t make money this year. Then came September. Edgar, whose Atreaus Capital LP specializes in currencies and commodities, had been betting since June that the price of soybeans would drop because of favorable weather conditions that promised a bumper crop. On Sept. 11, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported record harvests and expanding global inventories. Bean prices tumbled 8 percent through the end of the month. That and a larger trade on a stronger U.S. dollar turned a poor year into a good one, according to an investor.

The JOBS Act at Year One: A Changing Hedge Fund Communications Landscape (HedgeCo)
Thomas Walek, President of communications and marketing firm Peppercomm, has put out a new whitepaper on the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act or JOBS Act, a law intended to encourage funding of United States businesses by easing various securities regulations. “The private world of hedge funds is looking more like Madison Avenue.” Walek says. Hedge funds today are everywhere – in daily headlines, social media, public web sites, live TV coverage, and even highly visible Las Vegas bashes. They are also increasingly in the portfolios of institutional and retail investors.

GLG Said to Pick Mason to Manage European Equity Hedge Fund (BusinessWeek)
GLG Partners picked Neil Mason, a former executive at Harvard University’s endowment and BlueCrest Capital Management LLP, to help run a European equities hedge fund, a person briefed on the matter said. Mason will manage the $3 billion long-short fund with Pierre Lagrange and Simon Savage after Darren Hodges resigned, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the move hasn’t been made public. Hodges, who has been at the firm in London since 2005, is still serving his notice period, the person said. A spokeswoman for GLG and Hodges declined to comment.

Weavering hedge fund founder pleads not guilty in London fraud trial (Reuters)
The founder of one of London’s oldest hedge funds, whose $600 million Weavering business collapsed in 2009, formally pleaded not guilty to all 16 fraud-related charges in his trial at a London court on Tuesday. Magnus Peterson, a Swedish-born hedge fund manager, faces allegations of fraudulent trading, fraud by misrepresentation, forgery, abuse of position, false representation, furnishing false information and obtaining a money transfer by deception between 2003 and 2009.

Pisani: Tenuous rally (CNBC)

Dishonesty Led to $600 Million Hedge Fund End: Prosecutor (BusinessWeek)
Weavering Capital (UK) Ltd. founder Magnus Peterson’s deliberate “dishonesty” caused the collapse of his $600 million hedge fund, U.K. prosecutors told a London court on the trial’s opening day. Peterson told investors he was following a low-risk strategy, but within a few days of its start the fund had lost more than 20 percent of its value, according to Amanda Pinto, a lawyer for the Serious Fraud Office. Rather than stopping, he changed the strategy and lied to investors, she said, disputing that it was due to “bad luck or incompetence.”

Walsh Joins TMF Custom House As COO (Finalternatives)
Hedge fund administrator TMF Custom House Fund Services has named Kevin Walsh chief operating officer for fund services. Walsh, who will be based in Dublin, started his career in the funds industry in 1995 at the Bank of Bermuda and has a strong operational, regulatory and product management focus and experience in banking and fund services. He joins TMF Custom House from HSBC Securities Services (which acquired Bank of Bermuda in 2004), where he was responsible for the global product development of core accounting services across the range of alternative asset classes.

Call for position-level data to monitor hedge fund risk (Risk)
UK financial regulators do not have access to the most accurate hedge fund statistics, according to financial academics, echoing concerns from a series of Bank of England officials and reports that data collected on hedge funds gives regulators a “limited” and “incomplete” picture of the systemic risk they pose. Last year the Bank’s governor Mark Carney complained to the UK Parliament’s Treasury Committee that the quality of fund flow data for the hedge fund industry “fall[s] short of our need for greater coverage of financial sub-sectors”.

Sears Apologizes After Swastika Ring Appears on Marketplace Site (BusinessWeek)
Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD), the department-store chain run by hedge-fund manager Edward Lampert, apologized after a ring with a swastika symbol appeared on the company’s online Marketplace site. “We are outraged that more than one of our independent third-party sellers posted offensive items on Sears Marketplace,” the company said today in a statement, which linked to a newspaper story about the swastika ring. Sears said it removed the product yesterday.

Darden gets new management; no salted pasta water yet (Reuters)
Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) on Tuesday announced new leadership following a board coup by activist investor Starboard Value LP, whose recipe for fixing the company’s ailing Olive Garden chain included salting pasta water, doling out fewer free breadsticks and pushing more wine. …Starboard is Darden’s second-largest investor, with an 8.8 percent stake. The New York hedge fund is agitating for change at Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) and attempting to take RealD (NYSE:RLD) private.

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