Bob Chapman: He hit a kid with his car, sure, and it’s true I said his behavior can be ‘extraordinarily odd,’ but that doesn’t mean he’s not a masterful steward of capital any one of you would be lucky to have manage your money. Read more »
Area Hedge Fun Manager Is Full Of Praise For A Guy He Disemboweled In The Press Just A Few Days BackBy Bess Levin
As you may have heard, over at Vanity Fair today you will find a profile of hedge fund manager Dan Loeb by William D. Cohan, titled “Little Big Man.” It’s kind of unflattering! Among other things, Loeb is described, by his peers, as “Machiavellian,” being possessed of a “Napoleonic” complex, and “the Kanye [West] of Wall Street.” With the exception of his mother and Anthony Scaramucci, none of the people quoted re: Loeb’s character had very nice things to say, instead noting that:
- “He is just long and loud. He took a position and then started screaming and trying to force some change.”
- “Loeb can write the most obnoxious letters on the planet, make up shit—[because he does] not really care … whether or not you hurt people or don’t hurt people. You just don’t care. The only thing you care about is making money on their stock. . . . [His letters] were juvenile, sophomoric, and cringe-making. Horrible. If you’re a decent member of society you [don’t do] shit like that.”
- “He never, ever in a million years would have written these [Bloomberg] posts back in 2008 when he was down nearly 50 percent and nearly blew up. That was a humble Dan Loeb, who never would have gone out making enemies needlessly.”
- “The guy almost went out of business in 2008. . . . I think what happened was he had a good couple of years. He bounced back. He put up some good numbers, and I just think his ego has gotten so out of control. . . . With the fund doing well, I just think it’s completely gone to his head, and he surrounds himself with a bunch of sycophants.”
The person who has the most to share, though, is Loeb’s former friend Bob Chapman* (who is not so different from Loeb in his love of laying into CEO’s and dialing into earnings calls to ask companies to comment on alleged ‘ass rapings’). The most amusing part of Chapman’s commentary on all things Loeb is his habit of adding a back-handed compliment or striking a self-deprecating note to soften each of his mildly to majorly devastating blows: Read more »
Sotheby’s doesn’t just have an activist problem. It has a two-activists problem. The auction house faces one hedge fund manager— Daniel Loeb of Third Point LLC—loudly banging down the doors over its performance. Meanwhile, another hedge fund is working behind the doors to get the company to sell its physical home. That second hedge fund, Marcato Capital Management LLC, spelled out its arguments for the first time in a presentation to investors Wednesday evening. According to the presentation, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, Marcato wants Sotheby’s to sell its New York and London properties and unlock the capital it uses in its smaller art financing and art dealing operations. The hedge fund, Sotheby’s third-largest shareholder, believes those moves could free up $1.3 billion in cash, enough to buy back nearly a third of the company’s stock…Richard “Mick” McGuire, the founder and managing member of Marcato, unveiled his thesis for boosting Sotheby’s stock price at the Excellence in Investing conference in San Francisco. [WSJ]
Sotheby’s Board Knows Even Less About Engaging With A Shareholder Than It Does About Contemporary Art: Third PointBy Bess Levin
As many of you well know, hedge fund manager Dan Loeb is famous for telling people how he really feels, occasionally via Bloomberg header but most often by good old-fashioned letter. Typically, the people on the receiving end of Loeb’s thoughts comprise the management of the companies his firm Third Point has amassed a stake in, and is attempting to oust. Over the years, CEOs and board members from Yahoo! to Sony to Nabi Biopharmaceuticals have received their own personalized missives, all of which have been classic Loeb: that potent, poetic blend of sarcasm, self-regard, belittling attacks on competence and a lengthy list of prescriptions for change. Yesterday, he added a new piece to the canon.
Let’s rewind for a moment.
A few months back, Loeb bought some shares in a company that he knows very well, auction house Sotheby’s, where he sold a large egg not too long ago. Given his long relationship with the company, Loeb thought he’d let that little bombshell sink in for a while, in hopes that the ignorami running Sotheby’s into the ground would come to their senses. Sadly, Team Sotheby’s, led by Chairman and CEO William Ruprecht, did not, and that left Loeb with no choice but to pick up his pen and get down to business. The result is a contemporary masterpiece. Read more »