Area Hedge Fun Manager Is Full Of Praise For A Guy He Disemboweled In The Press Just A Few Days Back

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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.

Just last week Loeb surprised investors by saying he would give back about $1.4 billion this year — this after saying he wanted to grow the fund to $40 billion. Rivals believe the move was timed to pre-empt the blowback from an exposé of Loeb in the just-released issue of Vanity Fair. The article immediately became the talk of Wall Street...Many of the article’s tales — like the poison pen letters Loeb writes to corporate boards — aren’t new. But Loeb has been trying to clean up his image in recent years to attract a new crop of institutional investors. “Pensions do not like this stuff and a lot of people had forgotten about these bad qualities of Dan,” said someone who has known Loeb for years. The airing of Loeb’s dirty linen could also harm his activist investing. “Who’s going to let him on a board of directors?” asked one activist. “There’s no way that Sony or Sotheby’s will let someone like this on their board.” But even his detractors acknowledge Loeb has an uncanny ability to make money. “Why would a rational investor withdraw money from Third Point, which arguably is one of the best hedge funds of our time?” asks Robert Chapman of Chapman Capital. “Tell me, who has a better long-term track record than Loeb?”

[NYP, earlier]

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Area Hedge Fund Manager: Leave Harry Alone!

As you may have heard, earlier this week the lovable scamp that is Prince Harry of Wales got in a bit of hot water when he was photographed ass naked in Las Vegas, with a bunch of equally ass naked ladies, following some sort of swim meet with Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte. Those photographs, some of which involved a billiards table and pool cues, were subsequently run on the covers of various newspapers and the Queen, being none too pleased, told her grandson to get on the first flight back to London (apparently in a tone so scary he knew she meant business and "did not mingle with other passengers," instead remaining "in the upstairs cabin of the 747" to think about what he'd done). While it's unclear what kind of punishment the Queen has in mind, or if she's yet delivered the sort of tongue lashing generally reserved for naughty Corgis and her subjects at RBS, in the meantime many have come to the prince's defense and advised the old lady to back off, like the hedge fund manager the Times found on the tube who thinks the Queen should relax and have a good laugh about it. She'd be doing the same thing if Prince Philip ever gave her a weekend off. Among people surveyed at random in central London, including subway commuters reading about the Las Vegas incident on the front page of the tabloid the Evening Standard, the verdict was mostly thumbs-up. “I think it’s quite funny,” said John Daniels, 46, a hedge fund manager. “I’m sure most people would like to be doing exactly the same thing, especially in Vegas. This is his own private time and people shouldn’t be taking photographs of him.” For Prince Harry, Vegas Exploits Didn't Stay There [NYT]

Hedge Fund Manager Who Faked His Own Death Has A Few Theories About Other Famous Murders, Real And Imaginary

Remember Samuel Israel III? For those with short memories, SI3 is a former hedge fund manager who faked his own death in June 2008 with the help of his girlfriend, Debra Ryan, who later wrote an article explaining her actions by noting that she and Israel had "a blazing sex life" that was hard to walk away from (Ryan shared colorful anecdotes that included all the times Israel would "[jokingly] sneak up on her, once while wearing sunglasses on his penis"). For Israel's part, he had pretended to kill himself, incorporating a line from M*A*S*H into his fake suicide note, in an attempt to avoid the prison stay that was coming his way, on account of having taken Bayou Group investors for more than $450 million. At the time, he became something of a minor celebrity, whose business card, prominently featuring an egret, was auctioned off on eBay but since ultimately being sentenced to twenty years behind bars we'd heard nary a peep from the guy. Luckily, Andrew Ross Sorkin recently flew down to Butner, North Carolina for a little chat and it's a good thing he did because Israel had a lot he wanted to get off his chest. After offering ARS an "orange Life Saver," discussing his own version of a playoffs beard ("Mr. Israel...was wearing a tan prison uniform with his hair grown out, a mass of silver and brown curls sprouting from the sides of his bald head. 'I’m never going to cut it until I get out,' he exclaimed"), and talking Ponzi schemes, SI3 got down to the real matter at hand. About halfway through, the interview turned bizarre when Mr. Israel, on the verge of crying, announced: “I took a man’s life. I shot him twice.” I asked for more details. The story is recounted in “Octopus,” but the author, Mr. Lawson, doesn’t appear to believe it. In the supposed slaying, Mr. Israel describes himself defending a known con man, Robert Booth Nichols, who claimed to have once worked for the Central Intelligence Agency and has since died. Mr. Nichols was undertaking a secret trade at a German bank and was ambushed outside by a cockeyed “Middle Eastern guy.” Mr. Israel says he shot the ambusher in the hip and then in the head. He looked at me, shaking, and said, “I’ve seen someone with their head blown off maybe two feet back — as close as I am to you.” Mr. Israel recognized my skepticism. When I asked him what happened to the body, he said, “Bob made a couple of calls.” Again, I looked at him quizzically. “These people can do anything. They can get rid of a body,” he said. “Come on,” he added, looking at me as if I didn’t understand. “They can kill presidents.” I wasn’t sure what he was talking about. “The J.F.K. thing,” he said. He went on to tell me that he had videotapes of Kennedy’s assassination and that one was stolen by the F.B.I. “I know it makes me look like a crackpot,” he said. “But I know it’s real. Look into my eyes — I don’t care if people think I’m crazy.” Egrets. A Con Man Who Lives Between Truth And Fiction [Dealbook]