O. Andreas Halvorsen

Almost exactly a year ago, if you happened to be walking down East 67th Street toward Fifth Avenue, you probably stopped to peer through the window of a certain $49 million townhouse. Specifically the one belonging to Phil Falcone. There, a piano playing pig name Wilbur was pulling out all the stops (“Memory” from Cats, his infamous Bette Midler), in celebration of his boss making AR Magazine‘s annual list of the 25 highest paid managers, having taken home $825 million in 2009. The good spirits and the gin were running high that night and the party didn’t stop ’til the early hours of the morning. This year, things will be different. The lights will be dimmed and Wilbur will be in his room, digging out the cocktail napkin with the number of the hedge fund manager he’d met last summer in Connecticut. He told himself he wasn’t going to do anything with it but…things have changed. Read more »

To: Viking Investors
From: O. Andreas Halvorsen

Performance
Our second quarter performance was a loss of 5.0% for VGE and a loss of 11.9% for VLF net of all fees on a composite basis

On an unlevered basis, VGE’s long portfolio was down 11.2% and the short portfolio was down 10.3%, yielding a long-short spread of negative 0.9% (see the attached Base Case Analysis). In the quarter, five long positions cost us 0.5% or more while no short contributed an equal amount.

We are greatly disappointed in Viking’s returns both on an absolute basis and relative to the indices. We do not blame factors outside of our control, but acknowledge that changes in the global macro-economic, political, and regulatory environment; a broad-based fall in stock prices around the world; and unusually high levels of correlation among these prices have increased the degree of difficulty in generating a profitable long-short spread. We are paid to deal with such challenges at all times and are in a business that requires hard work and consistent processes every day. When the market gives us a disappointing score for our efforts, we examine our results and our methods to ascertain whether we need to make adjustments – this is the Viking way. Rest assured that our objective remains to achieve maximum capital appreciation commensurate with reasonable risk, and we remain firmly dedicated to meet this goal. In light of this, we have engaged in a thorough examination of our results.

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Dear Viking Global Investors

Andreas Halvorsen’s first quarter letter (“we are disappointed with the investment performance”) and the departure speech of David Ott (AH’s “closest partner, trusted-friend and Viking co-founder”).

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