The Morning Brief: Rand Paul’s New BFF is a Hedge Fund Firm

Mason Capital Management’s founders and employees are apparently huge fans of Senator Rand Paul, which Bloomberg points out is sort of ironic since the libertarian one-time presidential candidate reportedly told an audience in April: “We cannot be the party of fat cats, rich people, and Wall Street. Corporate welfare should once and for all be ended.” In any case, those associated with the $13.6 billion New York hedge fund firm are among the biggest contributors to Paul and political action committees sympathetic to the politician. According to Bloomberg, 17 of Mason’s 33 employees have given at least $75,000 to Paul and funds he controls since 2010, the first year he ran for Senate. Co-founder Kenneth Garschina has contributed $15,100 directly to Paul’s campaign or to funds the senator controls and has given $250,000 to America’s Liberty PAC, run by Paul supporters. Co-founder Michael Martino has given $12,600 to Paul’s campaign and funds.

The three main multi-strategy funds managed by Daniel Och’s Och-Ziff Capital Management posted gains in June. However, two of them remain in negative territory for the year. The flagship OZ Master Fund rose 1.30 percent in June and is up 2 percent for the year. However, the OZ Europe Master Fund climbed just 0.33 percent, trimming its loss for the first half of the year to 1.94 percent. The OZ Asia Master Fund surged 2.40 percent last month, but is still down 6.66 percent for the year. Meanwhile, Och-Ziff reported that as of July 1, it has roughly $45.5 billion under management. This includes June performance and capital flows from June 2, 2014 through July 1, and includes a $335 million reduction in assets due to the expiration of the investment period of one of its real estate funds.

Meredith Whitney’s hedge fund, Whitney’s American Revival Fund, posted a 1.7 percent gain in June, trimming its loss for the year to 4.7 percent. Whitney’s fund, which launched the fund last November with roughly $50 million, including money from BlueCrest Capital Management co-founder Michael Platt, is down 1 percent since inception, according to Bloomberg. It is run out of her New York–based firm, Kenbelle Capital.

The Credit Suisse Liquid Alternative Beta Index rose 0.62 percent in June. It is up 2.22 percent for the year to date. Little surprise, the Long/Short Equity index fared the best for the month, rising 0.91 percent. It is now up 3.75 percent for the year. Merger Arbitrage essentially broke even in June and is down 3.75 percent for the first six months. The Index tries to replicate the performance of the overall hedge fund industry and individual strategies using liquid, tradable instruments.