Hedge Fund News Wrap: Week Ending 2/28/14

Hedge Fund Redemption Notices Rise in February

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According to the SS&C GlobeOp Forward Redemption Indicator, hedge fund redemption requests rose this month. The indicator ticked up 3.38 percent this month, from 2.67 percent in January. However, this increase falls in line with past numbers in February.

“Redemption requests increased slightly for the month, but remain consistent with the February historical averages,” said Bill Stone, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SS&C Technologies.

According to SS&C Technologies, the indicator measures the sum of redemption notices from investors in hedge funds administered by SS&C GlobalOp.

 

See detailed coverage from:

FINalternatives

MarketWatch

 

 

Activist Investor Carl Icahn Picks Fight with eBay

Last year, Carl Icahn tried to pick a fight with Apple, Inc. Now, the activist investor has his sights set on eBay, urging the company to split its growing PayPal payments unit.

eBay Inc. founder and Chairman, Pierre Omidyar, rejected Icahn’s proposition, stating the businesses operate better when they are together.

Then, in a recent letter to shareholders, Icahn accused the company’s board of putting their personal profits ahead of stockholders’ interests:

“Stockholders: Please ask yourself: if you ran your own company, would you allow your competitors to sit at the table as you planned and executed your business strategy? We believe the obvious answer is no!”

Icahn, who owns a 2.15 percent stake in the company, also wrote how “corporate governance at eBay is dysfunctional.”

eBay fired back, releasing a statement on Wednesday, “Carl Icahn doesn’t let the truth get in the way of a good story. We challenge Mr. Icahn to end his own charade with our shareholders. Let’s focus on honest, accurate debate.”

The debate between Icahn and eBay highlights the growing dissonance between activist investors of a public company and the company’s board. This month, investors are also urging Darden Restaurant Group to spin off their Red Lobster restaurant chain, a move that Darden does not agree with.

 

See detailed coverage from:

FINalternatives

Reuters

CNBC

 

 

SAC Seeks to Hire Ex-Prosecutor, Regulator for Chief Surveillance Officer Role

According to The New York Times DealBook, SAC told employees that it is seeking to hire a Chief Surveillance Officer to monitor trading as it undergoes the process of scaling down to a family office. The scandal-ridden hedge fund hopes to hire a former prosecutor or regulator for the position.

SAC President Tom Conheeney and SAC founder Steven Cohen wrote in a letter to employees, “we are committed to doing everything in our power to ensure we never go through again what we have experienced over the last few years.”

Last year, SAC pleaded guilty to insider-trading charges, and paid a record penalty of $1.8 billion to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. SAC also agreed that it would stop managing money from outside investors, prompting the once-prominent hedge fund to convert to a family office and manage Steven Cohen’s money exclusively.

The new CSO will report directly to Conheeney.

 

See detailed coverage from:

FINalternatives 

Reuters

DealBook

 

 

Hedge Funds Now Hiring Public Relations Executives

When it comes to publicity, most hedge funds shy away from the media spotlight. CNBC writes, “most hedge funds have traditionally practiced a simple public relations strategy: ‘No comment.’”

However, the practice of saying “no comment” will soon change. The latest sign of a change comes in the latest hiring of executives to run communications at some of the largest hedge funds in the industry.

Davidson Kempner Capital Management, Two Sigma Investment Management, Pine River Capital Management, and Black River Asset Management have all recently hired executives to lead public relations efforts.

According to FINalternatives, even SAC Capital Advisors has boosted its communications team.

This recent change could also be a response to the end of an 80-year-old ban that prevented hedge funds from advertising. Since then, only a few hedge funds have tested the waters and have released advertising materials.

 

See detailed coverage from:

CNBC

FINalternatives