Back in October, hedge fund manager Dan Loeb sat down at his desk to pen a letter to auction house Sotheby’s, wherein he informed management that, among other things, they don’t know dick about contemporary art. The Third Point founder went on to list the many ways Sotheby’s had failed shareholders, including “egregious examples of waste,” like a lunch at Blue Hill that cost “multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars,” lost ground to rival Christie’s, its sliding operation margin, and, finally, the continued employment of CEO William Ruprecht, to whom the letter was addressed. Naturally, Loeb offered his services re: fixing the place, writing that he would be happy to join the board and help recruit a few other directors who would come with the requisite “experience increasing shareholder value” and would generally know what they hell they were doing, unlike some people (no names: Bill Ruprecht). Read more »
hedge fund managers
It’s Going To Take A Lot More Than A $325 Million Buyback For This Hedge Fund Manager To Start Taking Sotheby’s SeriouslyBy Bess Levin
Two years ago, like a modern day Noah, Nicholas Jacinto arrived at the townhouse of billionaire Phillip Falcone with a menagerie of exotic animals. He carted a sloth, a king snake, a lemur, a marmocet, a hedgehog and a Brazilian aardvark into the hedge fund king’s $50 million Upper East Side home to set up for a birthday party. Jacinto had been hired to provide the entertainment, displaying the rare critters to gawking guests. But before the show could start, city Health Department inspectors swooped in. They ticketed Jacinto, a state and federally licensed wildlife expert, for not having a city permit for the animals, and sent him packing back to his Long Island farm with his tail between his legs. “It was a huge embarrassment what the department did to me,” he recalled. –DNAinfo New York, January 21, 2014
Wilbur adjusted the towel around her head. She took a long drag off her Lucky Strike and stared out onto East 67th Street. Phil hated when she smoked in the house, so she’d cracked the bathroom window and had the fan going. But honestly, she didn’t much care what Phil thought right now.
Had she wanted to perform at the children’s birthday? No. Of course not. She wasn’t their monkey and she didn’t do children’s birthdays. But the fact that he’d made the call immediately after their fight felt especially cruel. Things weren’t great with them but she never thought he’d go out of his way to hurt her.
She flicked the rest of her cigarette out the window and stared at her pores in the mirror. Phil used to tease her for spending hours scrutinizing her skin. Lately, though, he hadn’t said anything. Maybe he was no longer paying attention. Maybe he’d noticed the fine lines where things were once smooth, and hoped she would, too. She knew it was ridiculous, but she couldn’t help but feeling like he was trading her in for a new model.
There was a knock at the door. “Wilbur, can I come in?” Phil asked from the other side.
After all of their fights, the big ones and the small ones, no matter what had been said, no matter how many objects were thrown (Wilbur) or how many tears were shed (Phil), they’d always found their way back to each other eventually. Wilbur was still hurting, but she was ready to hear what Phil had to say, ready to move on. In a couple hours the guests would be arriving, and a little while after that they’d sing Happy Birthday and eat cake, and Wilbur would do her standard, “Are you one, are you two, are you three…” In spite of herself, she was actually looking a little bit forward to the animal display.
She opened the door, ready to reconcile. But Phil didn’t come in. He stood at the threshold, without a hint on contrition on his face or in his bearing. There was no sign that he’d been crying at all. Read more »
Those of you who keep close tabs on Texas hedge fund manager James Dondero know that he has been battling his ex-wife Becky Dondero over how much money he owes her for some time now. Complicating things slightly is a related suit/countersuit involving a former Highland Capital Management employee , Patrick Daughtery, who was sued by Dondero after he testified on behalf of Becky, claiming that over drinks, his boss told him he planned to “get his net worth down and pay her as little as possible.” In the suit, Dondero claimed that Daughtery made the story up to get back at Dondero/Highland for compensation that was never paid out, in addition to alleging that that Daugherty had suffered brain damage. Anyway, jury selection for the Dondero/Daughtery trial started yesterday, and the judge presiding over the case is not gonna lie: he’s looking forward to the juicy details. Read more »
Pershing Square: We Don’t Need A Fancy PricewaterHouse Coopers Audit To Tell Us That Herbalife Is A Ponzi SchemeBy Bess Levin
“It is not the role of Herbalife’s auditor to determine if the company is a pyramid scheme. Rather, that determination depends on whether distributors earn more from recruiting new distributors than from retail sales to consumers who are not distributors. The few Herbalife distributors that make money earn the vast majority of their profits from recruiting. Herbalife is a pyramid scheme that will be shut down by regulators.” [Earlier]
Billionare David Tepper’s hedge fund firm, Appaloosa Management, celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2013 and it’s turning into a year to remember for the former Goldman Sachs trader. Tepper’s big Palomino hedge fund posted net returns of 37.86% through the end of November…The Standard & Poor’s 500 index returned 29.1% this year through November. [Forbes, Related: David Tepper Has A Message For Jon Corzine]
Billionaire hedge-fund manager John Paulson posted gains in his firm’s main strategies in November, in part from an investment in Extended Stay America Inc., according to two people familiar with the matter. Paulson’s event-driven Advantage fund surged 13 percent in November and 30 percent this year, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private…Paulson Partners Enhanced Fund, the leveraged version of the firm’s merger-arbitrage strategy, gained 2.3 percent in November and 28 percent this year, the people said. Paulson Partners increased 1.2 percent last month and 16 percent year-to-date. The Recovery Fund, which seeks to benefit from growth in the economy, is the firm’s best-performing strategy in 2013. The fund rose 6.5 percent in November, bringing returns since the start of the year to 55 percent, according to the people. The Paulson Credit Opportunities Fund increased 3.2 percent last month, bringing returns for 2013 to 20 percent, the people said. Paulson’s Advantage Plus fund, which seeks to profit from corporate events such as takeovers and bankruptcies and uses leverage, rose 6 percent in November and 28 percent this year, according to the people. [Bloomberg]