Hedge Funds

He's ba-ack.For more than a year, Herbalife’s biggest booster got his kicks kicking Bill Ackman while he was down, gleefully touting how he had been proven right about the world’s favorite diet shakes time and time again, while the Pershing Square founder had been proven the opposite, also over and over again. But at the beginning of the year, it occurred to Tim Ramey that repeatedly sticking his finger in Bill Ackman’s eye is really no way to live, and that he should try to do something constructive with his life, like corporate consulting.

But as he’s watched Ackman’s hopes get up and then dashed once again, Tim realized it is foolish to deny one’s passions. And so while he’s keeping his office over at Post Holdings, he’s ready to publicly sing the praises of his favorite multi-level marketing company once again, giddily predicting just how much more money Ackman is going to lose. Read more »

ray-dalioBridgewater Associates sued Howard Wang and Wenquan “Robert” Wu in federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday, saying they tried to publicize their newly-formed hedge fund, Convoy Investments, by lying about their former roles at Bridgewater. Bridgewater claims that Wang and Wu tried to pass themselves off as “former key figures responsible for core aspects of Bridgewater’s business,” but “they were nothing of the sort.” Bridgewater is asking a federal judge to order Wang and Wu stop misrepresenting their role at Bridgewater and pay the hedge fund firm damages…Bridgewater says that Wang joined Bridgewater in 2008 as an entry-level junior analyst in the client services department that is responsible for managing the hedge fund’s relationships with clients. Wang left in 2012 and Bridgewater says he told the hedge fund “that he intended to pursue ballroom dancing ‘full time as a competitor.’” Wu joined Bridgewater’s internal finance department in 2007 as a software developer, coding software that calculated Bridgewater’s fees. Wu was later transferred to the core tech department at the hedge fund and dealt with discrete coding projects until he left the hedge fund firm in 2010, telling Bridgewater that he was unemployed and traveling, the hedge fund claims. [Forbes]

Bill AckmanIt’s a burden, really. Read more »

Carl IcahnBillionaire investor Carl Icahn says the struggling Trump Taj Mahal casino “will almost certainly close.” The would-be purchaser of the casino told the Associated Press on Thursday night that the casino’s finances are dire. Four of Atlantic City’s 12 casinos have closed this year, and the Taj Mahal would be the fifth. Mr. Icahn, sounding very much like a man growing tired of the whole topic, said that even though he won’t back out of a deal he made with owner Trump Entertainment Resorts to acquire the Taj Mahal and pump $100 million into it, he wishes he never answered the phone when the company first called him about it. “One overriding fact is perfectly clear: The Taj is quickly running out of money and will almost certainly close,” Mr. Icahn said. [WSJ]

  • 23 Oct 2014 at 4:48 PM

Bill Ackman Is Onto You!

"This guy back stage knows what I'm talking about"The interview began at 2 p.m., and [Jim] Grant went straight after the elephant in the room — the Valeant-Allergan deal. “May I call you Bill, or do you prefer ‘Alpha’?” Grant asked playfully before launching into a series of questions. Before we go any further into this story, you should know that short-seller Jim Chanos, CEO of Kynikos Associates, was sitting in the crowd. Chanos is famously short Valeant. He says it is an accounting rollup that lacks organic growth. Ackman knew Chanos was in the crowd, because during the lunch lecture (about 20 minutes before Ackman’s interview), Chanos asked a question in front of everyone present. Now, back to Ackman’s interview. As Grant asked the same questions about Valeant-Allergan that critics have been asking for months — “Does the company actually make money?” “Does Valeant overpay for its acquisitions?” “Doesn’t it need to spend money on R&D?” — Ackman started to bristle a bit. Suddenly, he turned toward Grant. “Are you short because your daughter is working for Jim Chanos?” he asked pointedly. [BI]

Dan LoebDow Chemical’s management team are “going to be great listeners” to ideas from shareholders on improving the company’s performance, its chief executive Andrew Liveris has promised. Speaking as the company reported better than expected earnings for the third quarter, Mr Liveris said on Wednesday that he had been continuing to speak with Dan Loeb of Third Point Capital and other shareholders about how to raise Dow’s share price…Third Point, an activist hedge fund, in January revealed it had taken a stake in Dow and called for the group to be broken up, saying it “woefully underperformed” over the past decade…On Wednesday Mr Liveris denied that he had an “adversarial” relationship with Mr Loeb or other investors, and promised to listen to their analysis, but said he sometimes had to point out to them where they were wrong. [FT]

stevecohensaccapitalThis December will mark five years since Patricia Cohen, Steve’s first wife, came back into his life with the fury of a thousand Preet Bhararas. To celebrate, he’s going to smother her with a pillow. Just kidding, that’s for year six. For five, he’s going with this: Read more »

  • 23 Oct 2014 at 10:00 AM

Ken Griffin Introduces The Concept Of His Divorce Voice

It's The Griffins!As those of you keeping up with the conscious uncoupling of Kenneth Griffin and his soon-to-be ex-wife Anne Dias Griffin know, both the Citadel founder and his bride have been playing the hardest of ball re: marital assets, reputations, etc, since he filed for divorce over the summer, maintaining, through their attorneys, that each other can suck it. For her part, Anne has alleged that Ken:

  • Surprised her divorce papers while she was on vacation with their three children
  • Had a couple’s therapist he was seeing on his own convince her to sign a pre-nup
  • Is an absentee father
  • Changed the locks on their houses
  • “…threatened to demolish part of the family’s primary Chicago residence”

In response, Ken has:

  • Reminded Anne about the time he dressed up “as Spider-Man for a school Halloween party and as a prince for a daughter’s birthday party”
  • Reiterated that if Anne thinks she’s getting a dime more the prenup stipulates, she oughta think again

…and most recently, said in court filings that 1. Use of his private jet is privilege, not a right and 2. What she might have interpreted as terrifying verbal abuse was simply how he talks when he’s divorcing someone and not cause for alarm. Read more »