RI Ups Hedge Fund Investment, Siddiqui Quits TCI, Asia Hedge Funds

Rhode Island Stete Investment Commission Hires Viking Global and Others (Pensions&Investments)

Rhode Island Employees’ Retirement System, Providence, authorized investing in 12 hedge funds, and the $7 billion system will invest in six more funds in December or January.The Rhode Island State Investment Commission, which manages the pension plan, on Sept. 28 approved hiring global equity managers Ascend Capital, Davidson Kempner Capital Management and Elliott Associates; each received $60 million. Real-return managers Brevan Howard Asset Management and Och-Ziff Capital Management Group each received $75 million and D.E. Shaw Group was awarded $50 million, said Kenneth Goodreau, chief investment officer. At its Oct. 26 meeting, the commission selected credit manager Gracie Credit; global equity managers Mason Capital Management, Samlyn Capital and Viking Global Investors; and real return managers Winton Capital Management and Capula Investment Management. They will likely receive mandates of similar size to the first six firms, although the final allocations remain to be determined, Mr. Goodreau said in an interview.

Alan Howard

Wermuth Replaces Maarten van den Belt as CEO With Michael Ludwig (Businessweek)

Wermuth Asset Management GmbH, a Frankfurt-based Russia-focused hedge fund, is replacing Maarten van den Belt as chief executive officer after 16 months in charge with Michael Ludwig. Van den Belt joined Wermuth from VISA International in Moscow in 2010, where he had been head of Russia. Ludwig has been at the firm since 1999, the company said in an e-mailed statement. Wermuth, which managed over a $1 billion before the 2008 economic crisis, has about $200 million under management, according to its website. Ludwig will take charge of the firm before the end of the year, the statement said.
Baker Street Capital Bought Activist Stake in Autoinfo (InsiderMonkey)
Baker Street Capital disclosed a brand-new 9.1% activist stake in Autoinfo Inc. (AUTO.OB) on November 10th. According to the SEC 13D filing, Baker Street Capital did not have a position in the stock before. The firm made a one-time purchase for 3,094,884 shares at $0.55 per share on October 31st, pushing the stock surged 18% on the same day. Now AUTO.OB is trading at $0.65, and has returned 3% so far in 2011.

Credit Suisse Hedge Fund Head In Brazil In Line For Promotion (FINAlternatives)

Credit Suisse‘s hedge fund chief in Brazil is on the short-list to lead the bank’s overall efforts in that country. Luis Stuhlberger, who is head of the Credit Suisse Hedging-Griffo asset management arm, is one of three people eyed by outgoing Brazil chief Antonio Quintella to take the top job. The others are Jose Olympio Pereira and Marcelo Kayath, who jointly lead Credit Suisse’s investment banking unit in Brazil. Quintella has been named CEO of the Americas at Credit Suisse. Hedging-Griffo is Brazil’s biggest hedge fund. Credit Suisse bought half of it five years ago for almost US$300 million, and could pay more than US$800 million for the other half at the end of the year.

Adam M. Hutt’s Leviticus Partners Reported 8.1% Passive Stake in $LTRX (InsiderMonkey)

Adam M. Hutt’s Leviticus Partners amended its passive stake in Lantronix Inc. (LTRX) to 8.1%, according to the firm’s SEC filing on November 10th. Leviticus Partners now has 800 thousand shares in LTRX. This is the second amend 13G that the firm filed for its LTRX position. Leviticus Partners previously filed 991 thousand shares, or 9.6% stake in LTRX on December 8th, 2010; and 684 thousand shares or 6.6% stake on May 13th, 2010. However, Leviticus Partners’ LTRX position in the second quarter is unclear. LTRX is now trading at $1.38, near its 2-year low. The stock has lost 63% in 2011.

Tusker Plans Offshore Hedge Fund With $40M in Assets (FINAlternatives)

Chicago-based hedge fund Tusker Capital is readying an offshore version of its flagship vehicle. Tusker plans to launch its Investment Fund II (Offshore) during the first quarter of next year, HFMWeek reports. The move follows the April launch of the onshore version of the hedge fund, following a year of running the strategy in several managed accounts. The offshore fund is expected to launch with about $40 million in assets, half as much as Tusker currently manages in the onshore fund.

James Crichton And Adam Weiss’ Scout Capital Management Reported 10.78% Stake in $ARCO (InsiderMonkey)

James Crichton And Adam Weiss’ Scout Capital Management reported on November 10th for its 10.78% passive stake in Arcos Dorados Holdings Inc. (ARCO). The filing shows the firm now has 13.96 million shares in ARCO, which is a 48% expansion from its 9.45 million shares position in the second quarter. Scout Capital Management initiated its ARCO position in April, and reported 6.73 million shares or 5.2% stake in its 13G filing on May 2nd. Arcos Dorados is McDonald’s largest franchisee. The company initial public offered 73.4 million shares on April 14th. Now the stock is trading at $21.35, representing a nearly 50% return from its expected IPO price.

Masroor Siddiqui Quits TCI (FINAlternatives)

Being Christopher Hohn‘s partner at The Children’s Investment Fund may not be the best job in the world, judging by the number who have left it in recent years. The latest out the door is Masroor Siddiqui. Siddiqui, who led global credit and equity investments at TCI, left the firm about two weeks ago, Reuters reports. His exit was revealed by K1 Ventures, the investment firm where Siddiqui is a director.

PIMCO Launches UCITS Version Of Credit Fund (FINAlternatives)

Mutual fund giant Pacific Investment Management Co. has launched a UCITS-compliant version of its Credit Absolute Return Fund, a hedge fund-like product investing in bonds. The Dublin-based vehicle has been added to the firm’s Global Investor Series (hence the handle, PIMCO GIS Credit Absolute Return Fund). It is managed, as is the original fund, by Mark Kiesel, a managing director and global head of corporate bond portfolio strategy.

Evercore Partners to Purchase a 45 Percent Interest in ABS Investment Management, LLC (MarketWatch)

Evercore Partners Inc. EVR -3.27%  today announced that it has agreed to purchase a 45% non-controlling interest in ABS Investment Management, LLC, an institutionally focused equity long/short hedge fund-of-funds manager. Under the terms of the purchase agreement, Evercore will pay approximately $45 million in cash to the current partners of ABS.

SYZ & Co Launched OYSTER Global High Yield (HedgeCo)

Swiss banking group SYZ & CO has launched the OYSTER Global High Yield, a new fund of  hedge funds investing in high yield fixed income investments. OYSTER Global High Yield is managed by hedge fund, a high yield manager based in the US with an excellent track-record.

Asia Hedge Funds Rebound with Best Quarterly Start in 2 Years (EconomicTimes)

Asian hedge funds staged a turnaround in October, recording their best start to a quarter since July 2009 as global financial markets rallied on hopes Europe was closer to containing its debt crisis. The industry is headed for its first negative year in Asia since the 2008 financial crisis and is bracing for more volatility as the euro zone crisis continues. Regional funds, as measured by the Eurekahedge Asia index, rose 2.43 percent last month, while the Mizuho-Eurekahedge Asia Pacific ex-Japan index, which measures the performance of larger funds, rose 5.9 percent.

Jefferies Banker’s New Hedge Fund Seeded By SAC Alums (FINAlternatives)

A former Jefferies & Co. banker has launched his maiden hedge fund. Patrick Neal’s TreePoint Fund Management has unveiled onshore and offshore version of its flagship, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Indus Capital Names Nebens Head Of Europe Fund Trading (FINAlternatives)

Indus Capital Partners, the $5 billion global hedge fund shop, has tapped Edward Nebens as head of Europe Fund trading. Nebens will based in the firm’s New York office reporting to Gene Salamon, head of the nine-member Europe team which oversees assets of almost $600 million.

Hammerman’s CFO Joins Money Manager Valentine (FINAlternatives)
A top executive at hedge fund Hammerman Capital Management has left the firm to join a California money manager. Reynold Samoranos had been both CFO and chief compliance officer at Hammerman. Now, he’s taken up the latter post with Valentine Capital Asset Management.