Tiny Activist Fund Making Big Impact

Ben Axler’s hedge fund firm Spruce Point Capital is making a name for itself as a short seller—as well as some handsome returns—through deep-dive research. This according to a recent article in Bloomberg. The article reports that the Manhattan-based firm is on a “hot streak,” with its Spruce Point Research Activism Partners fund ($182 billion under managements as of YE 2018) returning 24 percent last year and becoming the top performer tracked by BarclayHedge. Josh… Read More

ValueAct’s Jeff Ubben on the State of Activism

In a recent interview with CNBC, ValueAct Capital co-founder and CEO Jeffrey Ubben talked about the state of activism investing and shares some general market insights. Here are some highlights from the interview: Ubben explained that ValueAct spends a lot of time gaining the trust of company boards and employs a long-term view: “When you have one-year capital, you write letters and get it done…We’re just doing it differently. Some of it is temperament—you don’t… Read More

How Elliott Management Always Gets its Way

Paul Singer’s Elliott Management is the world’s biggest, most successful activist hedge fund, according to a recent Fortune article that reveals what it calls  the “sophisticated—and often controversial—tactics” that have given them that distinction. Activists, the article explains, use ownership stakes in public companies to “pressure them to change in order to boost returns—whether by restructuring their businesses, shaking up management, or even putting themselves up for sale.” In the past five years, it says,… Read More

Hedge Fund Manager Calls Have Less Pull

A recent Bloomberg article takes a look at the influence on share prices caused by the comments of hedge fund “stars” at the industry’s three biggest annual events: Robin Hood, the Sohn Investment Conference in New York and the SkyBridge Alternatives Conference (SALT). “While the managers’ pronouncements consistently moved shares of the companies they targeted,” the article says, “their influence has been on the decline.” It outlines findings as illustrated by movement of stock price… Read More

Activist Dan Loeb is Sweet on Nestle

In a letter released to investors last month, Dan Loeb’s hedge fund Third Point announced that it owns approximately 40 million shares in Switzerland-based Nestle SA, according to a recentBloomberg article, referring to the $3.5 billion stake as “the biggest bet of his two-decade career as an activist investor.” According to the article, the move is the latest in a recent push by Loeb into Europe due to “an improved economic outlook and declining political… Read More

The Short Side of Activist Investing

A recent Bloomberg Gadfly piece observes that “investors who make bearish bets on stocks and then lay out their case publicly” have delivered a “performance as a whole [that] is not all that great in the short term – or in recent years either, at least as far as market-beating returns are concerned.” Along with a number of specific anecdotes, the article highlights data from Activist Shorts Research that shows a declining impact to the… Read More

Ackman’s Argues the Ill Effect of Index Funds on the Market

Barron’s reports on Pershing Square Capital manager Bill Ackman’s latest letter to shareholders, in which he sharply criticizes index funds. Ackman suggests that index funds are making the U.S like Japan, where the “system of cross-corporate ownership, the keiretsu, has been blamed for decades of Japanese corporate underperformance and market malaise.” He writes that “at current rates of inflows, it will not be long before index funds effectively control Corporate America and the corporations of… Read More