ValueAct Capital Management

San Francisco-based ValueAct Capital – founded in 2000 by Jeffrey Ubben, George Hamel Jr. and Peter Kamin – was one of the top performers among its activist hedge fund peers in 2013, outperforming the stock market’s 30 percent-plus gain on a gross basis. Investors can thank timely bets in the booming technology and pharmaceutical industries for the firm’s recent hot streak. It was ValueAct’s position in tech titan Microsoft, however, that put it on the map. The low-key activist firm, which uses less disruptive tactics than its activist competitors, initially took a position in Microsoft in the first quarter of 2013. ValueAct boosted its stake by 75 percent the following quarter and added nine million shares in the third quarter. By year-end, Microsoft was ValueAct’s largest holding. Ubben’s bet has paid off thus far...

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