The Morning Brief: Fortress’ Peter Briger Takes Home $26.2M in Stock and Bonus Awards; More Turnover at SAC Capital Advisors.

Peter Briger, co-chairman and principal at Fortress Investment Group, earned $26.2 million last year, according to a proxy filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission dated April 12.. On top of his $200,000 salary in 2002, Briger received a $14 million bonus and nearly $11.8 million in stock awards as part of the company’s principal performance payments. Michael Novogratz, another principal, and co-CIO of the Fortress Macro Fund and the Drawbridge Global Macro Fund, earned more than $10.2 million.

More retrenchment for Steve Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors. Seven employees in Hong Kong left the company and another five moved to New York and London. However, the hedge fund firm told Reuters it is still committed to Asia. “We see the Asia and Japan market as a dynamic opportunity to grow our business,” SAC COO Sol Kumin told the agency in a statement relayed through a spokesman.

Separately, former SAC Asia specialist Yip Ka-hay plans to start a macro hedge fund in July, specializing in the Asian region. The founder of Hong Kong–based Bright Stream Capital Management expects to raise as much as $300 million over the next 18 months, including $25 million of his own money.

On Monday UBS raised its rating on Chipotle Mexican Grill to “Buy,” from “Hold,” and lifted its price target to $390 from $330, citing a belief that sales and earnings growth can accelerate over the next 18 months. “We believe Chipotle has reached an inflection point in its growth cycle,” the investment bank told clients in a note Monday. “While previously Chipotle’s increased unit penetration and brand awareness would generate outsized same store sales growth, the company is now entering a phase in which marketing and sales layers should augment growth.” This could be bad news for hedge fund managers like Greenlight Capital’s David Einhorn, who last fall made a high-profile case for shorting the chain, whose Mexican-themed food quality is a notch or two above fast-food chains. The stock, however, dropped about 1.4 percent to $337.17 on an overall big down day in the markets.


Rothschild hopes to boost its hedge fund of funds business. The Paris-based asset management giant is looking for an acquisition to double its assets after acquiring the fund of funds company, HDF Finance, last year for an undisclosed sum.

Brett Langbert has joined Israel Englander’s managed accounts and prime services division as managing director responsible for directing sales & distribution. The new division will provide services to small and midsize hedge funds. Langbert was president and COO of HedgeCo Networks, responsible for the HedgeCo.Net database, and president of HedgeCo Securities, where he managed a broker dealer that performed prime broker services, capital introduction and third-party marketing.

The Dow Jones Credit Suisse Hedge Fund Index rose 1.21 percent in March, putting it up 3.55 percent for the first three months. Long-short equity led the way, up 5.10 percent for the quarter, followed closely by distressed funds, up 4.99 percent. No surprise there. The only losing strategy was the dedicated short bias, down 8.56 percent.