There may be ups and downs (excuse us—choppy waters and those that are calm) at Pirate Capital but it’s nice to know that the one thing you can always depend on is Tom Hudson—being a jerk. In a lengthy profile today, Bloomberg offers exhaustive evidence to support this claim of the hedge fund manager who puts the fledgling Pirate Capital LLC’s “booty” motto on hats and foam-rubber galleons (which alone should be enough to convince you).
There is, of course, Magnum Global Investments, a former client of Pirate that is suing the buccaneers for failing to pay for directing $28 million in investments their way. Then there’s the adultery, which probably facilitated the three failed marriages. The argument that he was unfairly fired from Goldman Sachs for having an affair with a subordinate (which he admitted to) because “senior executives were having dalliances of their own.” His sadistic disregard for aquatic life, which he obviously nurtured and encouraged in his employees (“in the past, he’s dispatched interns to a PetSmart store a half mile down the road to buy minnows for his fish to devour, to the leering delight of his staff”). His use of child labor (“He’s also ordered interns to work seven days a week, swabbing the deck of the Jolly Roger, his 27-foot powerboat, and watering flowers at his home in bucolic Wilton, Connecticut”).* His use of slave labor (“Hudson demanded a Monday-Saturday work-week from his full-time employees, former workers say. He brooked no complaints.”). His stereotyping of dogs (“If you want a friend, get a dog,” Hudson told them). His inability to say “I’m sorry” (“I make no apologies”). His blatant disregard for the Ten Commandments, and the energy Moses put into lugging those things down the mountain (“Hudson…claimed he was fired because Urban disapproved of adultery. 'John Urban has publicly made pronouncements condemning extramarital sexual relations and justified this condemnation by reference to religious beliefs' ”). He’s a sociopath (“He offered them a money-making opportunity…one by one, Hudson’s guests stepped into a clear plastic chamber. Inside was play money—cash emblazoned with skulls and crossbones. An electric fan then sent the bills swirling into the air. The object: Grab as much money as fast as possible”). He wears silk shirts (“Hudson swapped some of his old Oxford shirts for silk ones”).
There is, however, no accounting for taste. And some of you do better with visuals. Unfortunately, we have no visuals, but there is this:
Since May 2006, Hudson has battled trading losses and a rebellion within his firm. More than half of his two dozen employees have left, including his most- active analyst, Zachary George.
Pirate is leaking money. Its assets fell to $1.56 billion as of Oct. 31 from a peak of $1.8 billion in August, according to figures Pirate has sent to investors. That figure has since fallen to $1.1 billion. Hudson’s Jolly Roger Fund returned 9.5 percent in 2006, trailing a 15.8 percent return for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. It was Pirate’s worst year ever.
Mutiny at Pirate Capital Roils Hudson After Worst Year Ever [Bloomberg]
*Actually, Carney makes us do this too. Inexplicably, the guy loves himself a nice hanging plant.