Hedge Fund News: Tom Steyer, Paul Singer, Carl Icahn

FARALLON CAPITALHedge fund billionaire into politics (DailyDemocrat)
Hedge-fund billionaire Tom Steyer staked millions of his own money to take on big oil and then to close a corporate-tax loophole costing California $1 billion a year — and won both times. Ever heard of him? Don’t worry, you will. With his latest behind-the-scenes win at the polls as the man who stared down big business by standing up for Proposition 39, this Stanford MBA and top Obama fundraiser has become an out-of-nowhere big-time political player in California. So what does Tom Steyer want now? “I am an enormous lover of California and to the extent that I see something wrong, I will be involved in trying to fix it,” Steyer, 55, said Monday. “What form that takes, I don’t have a fixed idea.”

Argentina’s President Is Making Great Political Theater Out Of Paul Singer Seizing The Country’s Naval Ship (BusinessInsider)
Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is turning her feud with hedge fund manager Paul Singer into a political rallying cry in Argentina. The President has refused to pay Singer’s firm Elliott Management the $1.3 billion it owes the fund after it defaulted in 2010. de Kirchner says it’s because Singer was given multiple chances (in 2005 and 2010) to restructure, like other hedge funds did, and take a haircut to recoup at least a portion of their losses. Singer, needless to say, did not. Instead, he decided to capture one of Argentina’s naval vessels as collateral, and got Ghana to give him an order to detain the ARA Libertad last month.

Asia’s hedge funds wither on the vine as money flows shift (Reuters)
The Asia hedge fund run by Howard Wong and Rajesh Ranganathan has produced returns nearly four times better than its peers this year, with an experienced team that over the last decade has notched up some of the industry’s best performance numbers. And yet, Doric Capital is struggling to drum up interest in its $44 million fund, forcing one of Asia’s oldest hedge funds to give up its office overlooking the Hong Kong governor’s mansion for much smaller, humbler digs as it cuts costs.

Schulte Roth & Zabel adds Brian Daly to regulatory and compliance practice (HedgeWeek)
Brian T Daly has joined Schulte Roth & Zabel as a partner in the firm’s investment management and regulatory and compliance groups. Resident in the firm’s New York office, Daly concentrates on advising hedge and private equity fund managers on regulatory, compliance and operational matters, including registration and disclosure obligations, trading issues, advertising and marketing, and the establishment of compliance programmes. Daly joins the firm after nearly a decade serving in-house as general counsel and chief compliance officer at several prominent hedge fund firms. He most recently was with Kepos Capital, which he joined in early 2010 as a founding partner.

eVestment to buy hedge fund data groups (MoneyControl)
In a sign of the blurring boundaries between traditional “long-only” investing and alternative structures such as hedge funds, data provider eVestment is to buy PerTrac and Fundspire, two specialists in hedge fund data and analysis. “The overriding theme is convergence,” said Jim Minnick, co-founder and chief executive of eVestment, “that shift of the market place starting to allocate to more alternatives, the world is just becoming much more of a transparent and open place for investment.” The Atlanta-based eVestment is a specialist provider of data and cloud-based technology services, which has focused for 13 years on the traditional side of asset management, providing services mainly to the consultants that advise institutional investors such as pension funds, and the traditional money management companies.

Hedge Fund Compensation Survey Closing this Week (Equities)
The annual Hedge Fund Compensation Benchmark Survey is almost complete and data gathering closes this week. Hedge fund investment professionals are invited to participate and the online survey only takes minutes to complete. The survey, which has become the benchmark in hedge fund compensation, empowers hedge fund professionals to directly provide data on base and bonus pay levels, avoiding the problem of survey data bias due to estimates from outsiders. Eligible participants who complete the survey receive the final 2013 Hedge Fund Compensation Report (a $397.00 value) free of charge in return for their participation.

Argo unveils emerging markets hedge fund (InvestmentWeek)
Argo Group has launched an emerging markets hedge fund investing in bonds and currencies from a universe of over 40 emerging market countries. The Argo Local Markets fund aims to hold between 20 and 30 positions and has been launched with an initial $7m of seed capital. It will offer investors weekly liquidity and has a mandate to take on moderate leverage. Argo chief executive Kyriakos Rialas said: “The case for investing in emerging markets is compelling.

Korea Post issues RFP for hedge fund pool (AsianInvestor)
The Korea Post Savings Fund has issued a request for proposal (RFP) seeking pitches from local and global hedge fund managers with a view to creating a pool of managers for future allocations. It is understood the $62 billion fund will select up to three finalists in each of four hedge fund categories by strategy and place them into an investment management pool. At this stage the size of any future allocations is still to be determined; Korea Post is simply seeking to identify the best managers to work with. The Korea Post Savings Fund announced plans to go into alternative investments at an AsianInvestor summit in Seoul in July last year, while the ex-head of real assets at Korea Post, Song In-kyu, predicted Korean institutions are set to become major allocators to the asset class.

Weintraub to Return Money in Transition to Family Office (BusinessWeek)
Weintraub Capital Management LP, the $1 billion San Francisco-based long-short equity hedge fund, will return money to investors and become a family office overseeing the wealth of founder Jerry Weintraub. “Like lots of big decisions, it’s not any one particular thing, it’s a process,” Weintraub said today in a telephone interview. “It’s been a great run for myself and for my co- workers, and for a variety of reasons we decided it was best to wind down.” Weintraub, 53, who started the firm in 1992, declined to specify what led to his decision.

HF Managers with Legal Entanglements (HedgeFund)
The hedge fund industry has been hit again with news of investment managers in trouble with the law. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and Mary Galligan, the FBI’s acting assistant director in New York, announced Friday that Berton Hochfeld was arrested on securities fraud and wire fraud charges for allegedly carrying out a scheme that took $1 million from investors. Hochfeld, 66, appeared in court Friday after he was arrested at his home in Stamford, Connecticut. According to the complaint against Hochfeld, he ran a hedge fund known as the Hepplewhite Fund that invested primarily in the technology sector. Hochfeld allegedly made “false representations to investors regarding their investments” by sending statements with an inflated net asset value for the fund, and misappropriated their money for his personal use from April 2011 to October 2012.

Norrep wins “Best New Fund” at the Fifth Annual Canadian Hedge Fund Awards (MarketWire)
On October 30, 2012, at the Canadian Hedge Fund Awards held in Toronto, the Norrep Market Neutral Income Fund won the award for “Best New Fund”, which is deemed to be a fund that has a one year track record, but has been around for less than three years. The Norrep Market Neutral Income Fund (the “Fund”) achieved an annual return of 20.1% in the one year period ending July 31, 2012, versus the S&P/TSX one year return of -7.2%, to win this prestigious award. Keith Leslie, Portfolio Manager of the Fund, said “We are very proud and excited to be recognized as the best new hedge fund in Canada. After ten years of back testing, the Norrep Market Neutral Income Fund was designed to provide consistent, positive, sleep-at-night returns regardless of whether the overall stock market is up or down, and we were able to reach that objective.

Pension funds show growing interest in managed futures (IPE)
The number of institutional investors active in the managed futures (CTAs) market has been increasing in recent years, with 713 respondents to a Preqin survey having active CTA portfolios compared with 504 in 2008. Preqin said institutional investors were increasingly targeting investments providing transparency and liquidity within their hedge fund portfolios. It added that, since the 2007-08 financial crisis, many investors had also been looking to diversify, in order to better weather future crises.

Advent Receives Highest Standing in the 2012 Service Provider Rankings by Hedge Funds Review (MarketWatch)
Advent Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADVS) +0.23% , a leading provider of software and services for the global investment management industry, today announced that it has been recognized by readers of Hedge Funds Review, a leading global hedge fund magazine, as the number one technology provider for accounting and reporting in the 2012 Service Provider Rankings. The rankings are based on results from a Hedge Funds Review readership survey of hedge fund managers, fund of hedge funds managers and investors to rate service providers to the industry.

More bad news for college endowments (CBSNews)
A little while back, we saw that even some of the most well-respected university endowments in the nation had a tough time last year. Now, there’s another black mark against investors trying to invest like the professionals. Mark Yusko was the former chief of the endowment for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He left to start his own fund, the Endowment Fund, which is a hedge fund that invests in the same manner as top endowments. The fund, started nine years ago, holds about $3.3 billion. …In recent years, the fund’s performance trailed the S&P 500 Index. In 2011, the Endowment Fund lost 4.1 percent, versus a gain of 2.5 percent for the S&P 500. For the 12 months ending late August, the fund was down 2.5 percent, compared with an 18 percent gain in the S&P 500. Over the past five years, the Endowment Fund returned 5.7 percent per year, lagging the 7.7 percent gain by the S&P 500.

Maitland Buys Fellow Administrator Admiral (Finalternatives)
Consolidation in the hedge fund administration space continues apace with Maitland Group’s acquisition of Admiral Administration. Maitland announced last week that it had acquired Admiral. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The combined firm will have $145 billion in assets under administration, 700 employees and 15 offices in 13 countries, Maitland said. Admiral brings with it presences in the Cayman Islands; Dublin, Ireland; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Richmond, Va.

George Soros: Changes in Belarus are inevitable (Charter97)
The billionaire and philanthropist made a speech in the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. The students, including Belarusians, managed to meet the famous American. In the beginning of the 90-ies George Soros invested a lot in the development of educational institutions in Eastern Europe in order to give young people an education free from Marxists doctrines, Polskie Radio reports. The Open Society Institute and Soros foundations in different countries continue doing that today, although education is no longer the main direction in the scope of their activities.

Marc Faber: Prepare for a Massive Market Meltdown (CNBC)
The markets are going to go into meltdown soon, so expect stocks to lose 20 percent of their value, Marc Faber, author of the Gloom, Boom and Doom report told CNBC on Tuesday. “I don’t think markets are going down because of Greece, I don’t think markets are going down because of the ‘fiscal cliff’ — because there won’t be a ‘fiscal cliff,’ ” Faber told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “The market is going down because corporate profits will begin to disappoint, the global economy will hardly grow next year or even contract, and that is the reason why stocks, from the highs of September of 1,470 on the S&P, will drop at least 20 percent, in my view.”

Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers to Address 47th EEI Financial Conference (WebWire)
Jim Rogers, Duke Energy’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, will provide an update on Duke Energy during the 47th EEI Financial Conference in Phoenix, Ariz., on Tuesday, Nov. 13. The presentation will be from 1:15 to 1:55 p.m. ET and available via webcast through the investors’ section of Duke Energy’s website: www.duke-energy.com/investors/. A replay of the webcast and presentation materials will also be available through the investors’ section of the company’s website. Event will be simultaneously webcast Nov. 13 on the company’s website

Carl Icahn reports 9.99 percent stake in Greenbrier, plans talks (Reuters)
Activist investor Carl Icahn reported a 9.99 percent stake in The Greenbrier Companies (NYSE:GBX) and said he planned talks relating to strategic opportunities for the railcar manufacturer, pushing up its shares 9 percent before the bell. The move indicates that Icahn may want to revisit his failed 2008 bid to merge Greenbrier with American Railcar Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARII), in which he owns a controlling stake.

Hedge funds need to focus more on responsible investing (HedgeFundsReview)
Hedge fund managers need to put in place responsible investing policies and practices as these issues are becoming increasingly important to investors. The UN Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI), a set of principles that institutional investors can sign up to, now has more than 1,100 signatories, 137 of which have some exposure to hedge funds. PRI also has a growing number of hedge fund signatories. PRI has published a discussion paper on responsible investment and hedge funds to raise awareness about the issues investors need to consider when taking a responsible investment approach to investing in hedge funds.