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Alternative Market Briefing

Activist hedge funds rule 2014

Monday, January 05, 2015

Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia:

Activist hedge fund managers were the most successful investors in Wall Street in 2014 led by Bill Ackman’s aggressive bid to take over of Botox-maker Allergan, said the New York Times.

Data from FactSet showed that activist investors were bolder last year with 343 activist campaigns launched involving assets of almost $20bn in equities, a record amount.

Stan Altshuller of Novus Research was quoted as saying, "It was a great year for activists."

And it was indeed a great year for the activists. Novus data showed that activist investors generated a 13% return last year versus 5.7% for the average hedge funds during the same period. The S&P 500 returned 8% in 2014.

A separate report by Preqin noted that a total of 23 new activist funds were launched in 2014. The star among activists last year was Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square, which has returned 38% through the end of November. Nelson Peltz’ Train Partners is up 12%, whereas Dan Loeb’s Third Point gained 7.1% over the same period. Ackman’s protege, Mick McGuire’s Marcato Capital Management, is up 5.2% YTD.

John Paulson’s event-driven Advantage funds are sitting on double digit losses, whereas Paulson International and Paulson Enhanced are barel......................

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