The 2013 Pension 40: Daniel Loeb

Daniel Loeb
Third Point

Hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb rarely backs down from a fight. In April the American Federation of Teachers published a report calling out Loeb and other money managers for supporting right-wing groups that it said threaten AFT members’ retirement security. The union contended that some managers were funding efforts to undermine defined benefit pension funds while running money for those funds — and that trustees of public teachers’ plans had a fiduciary obligation not to invest with such managers. Loeb’s $13.6 billion, New York–based Third Point manages assets for the Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island and other public funds. The AFT pointed to Loeb’s support for charter school group Students First and his role as a board member of New York–based right-wing think tank the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, which has advocated moving away from the traditional defined benefit pension model. Although other managers named in the AFT report have sought to distance themselves from both groups, Loeb, 51, remains steadfast. He argues that his support of charter schools is not in itself a stand against defined benefit funds and that Manhattan Institute trustees do not always endorse all of the think tank’s policies. Loeb says he only wishes that Third Point “had more capacity to manage money to help the many underfunded teachers’ and other pension plans across the country exceed their return thresholds for their members’ benefit.” His firm, which has posted annualized returns of 17.9 percent since inception, recently announced that it will return 10 percent of total capital to investors.

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