"It's catchy, right?"
Remember back when Tony James did a little brainstorming about how to make private equity funds sound less evil, and came up with “clarity equity”? And how you thought, nothing could ever be worse than that, not even “Point72 Asset Management”? Well, Bill Ackman and friends are trying their hands at distancing themselves from the public perception of what a hedge fund is and, well, it’s worse.
Baupost Group LLC, Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC and Pershing Square Capital Management LP are among the industry stalwarts looking to change the script. In communication with clients and public filings, they have ditched the term “hedge fund” in favor of catchall descriptors such as “alternative asset manager,” “investment holding company” and “private partnership.”
Those are actually some of the better ones. Baupost is going with “a series of investment partnerships,” while Cliff Asness likes the slightly-less-cumbersome “Diversified Asset Management Company,” which has the added benefit of being so broad as to be essentially meaningless. But Och-Ziff’s “Carefully Considered Investment Products” is beyond doubt the worst, and not just because it’s not fooling anyone’s olfactory senses.
“If it looks like a hedge fund and smells like a hedge fund, it’s a hedge fund,” said Brad Balter, an investor in hedge funds at Balter Capital Management LLC in Boston.