The Morning Brief: Apple’s Tim Cook and David Einhorn Lock Horns Again; Clive Capital Pares Fees

Another wild and woolly day for Apple and its fans. It all started when Apple CEO Timothy Cook held a meeting Tuesday with investors at Goldman Sachs’ annual technology industry conference in San Francisco. He described the lawsuit filed by Greenlight Capital president David Einhorn as a “silly sideshow" and denied the company is clinging to a “Depression-era” mentality. But Cook also conceded the hedge fund manager’s proposal to issue preferred stock “creative." However, a Greenlight spokesperson told CNBC “If Apple thinks the lawsuit is a waste of resources, it could simply end the matter by complying with existing law and filing a new proxy that unbundles the proposed changes to the charter so that shareholders can express their views on each matter separately." Apple’s stock closed Tuesday down by 2.51 percent, to $467.90.

Nothing like lousy performance to humble a hedge fund manager. Clive Capital, the London-based hedge fund firm founded by former Moore Capital Management trader Christian Levett, is reducing the fees on its B class to a 2 percent management fee and a 20 percent performance fee, from 2.5 percent and 25 percent, respectively. No surprise. The firm has reported two consecutive years of losses and its assets under management have dropped 46 percent to $1.95 billion.

Blackstone Group is trolling for hedge funds. The investment giant has hired Anthony Maniscalco, the former head of alternative asset management at Barclays’s investment banking unit in New York, to help launch a business that will invest in hedge fund managers, a trend that is growing in popularity, BusinessWeek reported. Blackstone already has $46.1 billion in its hedge fund group.


Pine River Capital Management, one of the hottest hedge fund firms last year, lifted its exposure to U.S. equities to $5.15 billion at the end of the year, from $4 billion at the end of September. The Minnetonka, Minnesota-based hedge fund firm posted a 35 percent gain in its fixed income fund and a 20 percent gain in its multi-strategy fund. The firm manages $12.3 billion, including $8.5 billion in the hedge funds.