As those of you familiar with the career of Daniel S. Loeb know, the hedge fund manager makes a nice chunk of change each year through activist investing. While the boards of most public companies view activist investors in general as people who show up to their home uninvited, take a shit on their staircase and then demand to know how anyone in good conscience could live in such squalor, to view Loeb as just one of many would be like lumping Pavarotti together with a bunch of glee club dropouts.
The man, quite simply, has elevated the art of activist investing, through his trademark letters (all of which include a potent, poetic blend of sarcasm, self-regard, belittling attacks on management competence, and lengthy prescriptions for change) and delightful flourishes like tasking his best researchers with uncovering damning details about the objects of his wrath, like, for instance, that they lied about their college majors. Anyone who has watched him at work will agree: he is an artist.
And now, he’s got even more money than usual to spend on fieldwork, correspondence, and possibly skywriters who will be paid to leave a fluffy white “Just Quit Already” above various chief executives’ homes and offices. Read more »
Remember, back in October, when Dan Loeb announced that Third Point would be returning about 10% of the $14 billion it had, to “moderate” its growth or something? Well, that may have moderated things a little too much, and even though Third Point’s fat 6% return has it managing $15 billion seven months later after cutting those checks, Loeb is feeling inspired to write a few moreletters, and needs a few more bucks to do so. Read more »
Argentina has nine days to pay Paul Singer—or does it? Sure, a second default in 13 years will probably keep the country from tapping the international debt markets until President Cristina Kirchner’s son Máximo follows father and mother into the Casa Rosada in nine to 13 years or so. But who needs to make good on one’s commitments when one can just loudly proclaim that one has done so without actually doing so and then call on Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin for a bailout? Read more »
So the $5.7 million or so Sotheby’s spent winning that case only to completely capitulate three days later didn’t do it any good. But it certainly looks likely to not be so great for newly-minted Sotheby’s directors and other such activist investors. Read more »
Did Third Point chief Dan Loeb recently tell friends he had a plan to “undermine the credibility” of Sotheby’s Chairman and CEO William Ruprecht? Yes. Did Ruprecht refer to Loeb as “scum”? Indeed. Are the two men going to let either of these things make Sotheby’s board meetings, at which they’ll be working together, awkward in the slightest? Of course not. Why would you think that? Read more »