Hedge Fund News: Warren Buffett, Steven Cohen, Carl Icahn’s Halloween Move

SAC Capital Advisors hedge fund reaches $1.8 billion deal with feds over insider trading charges (New York Daily News)
Steven Cohen’s company has agreed to pay, plead guilty to all criminal charges and close its investment advisory business in a deal reached with Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. SAC Capital Advisors, which was once among Wall Street's richest hedge funds, has made a deal with federal prosecutors to resolve its legal entanglements, authorities said. Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara will make a formal announcement Monday afternoon alongside FBI officials, his office said. His office says SAC has agreed to shell out $1.8 billion, plead guilty to all criminal charges and shutter its investment advisory business.

4 Halloween hedge fund moves worth watching (MarketWatch)
With that being said, Halloween season is here, and we thought it'd be smart to take a look at some of the most important moves made this past week. In a filing with the SEC on Wednesday, Carl Icahn revealed that he has now officially closed his entire position in Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL). At the beginning of September, the billionaire penned an open letter to Dell shareholders conceding his battle against a buyout from Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners, remarking, "The Dell board, like so many boards in this country, reminds me of Clark Gable's last words...they simply 'don't give a damn.'"

Warren Buffett

A Buffett-worthy Brand to Buy (Insider Monkey)
The iconic plastic wrapper with its primary color circles and familiar typeface is coming back to the pantry. Wonder Bread is now part of the five star CAPS-rated Flowers Foods, Inc. (NYSE:FLO) brand portfolio after Hostess Brands sold it in July.The Wonder Bread buy is a good move by Flowers Foods, but does it make the company worthy of being a part of Warren Buffett's portfolio? We all know how much Warren likes his The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) and how much he respects enduring companies with iconic brands like H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE:HNZ). Flowers Foods marketing executive vp Keith Aldredge said, "Wonder has been a part of the American food scene since 1921. Generations have grown up on Wonder sandwiches. It's a classic." Buying up beloved food brands is a perfect example of a business model Buffett likes.

Hedge Funds Plan Proxy Battle for ValueVision Media (New York Times)
Two activist hedge funds, the Clinton Group and Cannell Capital, have joined forces to mount a proxy battle for control of the Internet and television shopping network ValueVision Media Inc (NASDAQ:VVTV). The Clinton Group, which manages $1.5 billion in assets, began publicly agitating for change last week, calling for the company’s chief executive and some of its board members to step down. It plans to announce later on Monday that it has filed a request demanding a special meeting for shareholders, according to a person briefed on the firm’s plans.

Hedge Fund Entry Level Salaries Hit $335,000 (IBTimes.co.uk)
A benchmark industry report has revealed that the starting salary for junior professionals in the hedge fund industry has risen for the third consecutive year and now stands at $335,000 for 2013. According to the 2014 Glocap Hedge Fund Compensation report, the average salary for an entry-level analyst at a mid-performing hedge fund was boosted by bonus rises of up to 10%. "Hedge funds' bonus pools were fueled in 2013 by the combination of increased performance fees and additional management fees generated on an increase in investor capital allocations," said Anthony Keizner, head of Glocap's hedge fund practice in the report.

How to invest without speculation (CNBC.com)

Ackman's fund roars back in October, now up 8.5 percent for year (KFGO)
Hedge fund manager William Ackman's fund came roaring back in October and is now up 8.5 percent for the year, helping erase the memories of bruising losses only a few months ago. Because of advances in Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (USA) (NYSE:CP)Burger King Worldwide Inc (NYSE:BKW) and other investments, Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management gained 7.9 percent last month, said two investors who are not permitted to discuss the returns publicly. Ackman also said in a monthly report to investors that he added two short positions. That is up from one, which is a short bet on Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), at the end of September, fueling speculation of what the new target might be.

Odey Readies New European Hedge Fund (FINalternatives)
Odey Asset Management will launch a new Europe-focused hedge fund, headed by portfolio manager Feras Al-Chalabi. The new Irish-domiciled long/short fund will invest in European stocks, equity-related securities, debt and currencies, the firm said. It will be Al-Chalabi's first vehicle to feature a short book. The fund will debut early next month. Al-Chalabi currently manages Odey's CF Odey Continental European and European Allegra funds. The former is up 36.7% over the past three years.

Argentina Wins Stay Extension In Hedge Fund Fight (FINalternatives)
A federal appeals court gave Argentina a rare legal victory in its battle with Elliott Management and other hedge-fund holdouts from its 2001 default. The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which has twice ordered the country to pay the holdouts or default on the new bonds it issued to creditors that accepted its restructuring, refused to lift its stay of those orders. The court said that the stay would remain in place to allow Argentina to make a second appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which last month decided not to hear its case.

Australia's Whitehaven to test patience of top shareholder (Reuters)
Delays on a major growth project and weak coal prices have pummelled shares of Whitehaven Coal to 4-1/2-year lows and could pressure the Australian firm to raise equity in 2014, putting its top shareholder in a tricky position. U.S. hedge fund Farallon Capital Management, with a near 17 percent stake, and its Asian chief Ray Zage will be in the spotlight at Whitehaven's annual shareholders' meeting on Monday where investors will want to hear how Australia's second-largest independent coal miner plans to face several challenges.

Asian hedge funds show signs of maturity (Financial Times)
“The Asian hedge fund industry has all the hallmarks of a teenager,” says Rob Appleby, co-founder of ADM Capital, one of Asia’s longer-lived hedge funds. “From the outside it looks extraordinarily ugly, but it works.” His remark is meant humorously, but in one way, he is dead right: the Asian hedge fund industry is beginning to grow up. Truly Asia-based funds, with $140bn of assets under management, still make up just 7 per cent of the global industry’s total, but some managers are maturing, as are investors’ attitudes toward them.

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