The Morning Brief: JAT Alum Prepares New Fund

A Tiger Great-grandcub is born. Chris Connor, a one-time partner at John Thaler’s JAT Capital Management, is starting a new hedge fund that will, not shockingly, specialize in the so-called TMT sector (technology, media and telecom), according to a regulatory filing. He has launched Ardmore Global Investors with $120 million, according to Reuters, which points out he has as much as $200 million in committed capital. Connor helped launch JAT Capital in 2007; he was senior technology, media and telecom sector head and remained until the firm returned capital to investors last year. A spokesperson for Connor declined to comment.

Connor is one of an emerging group that could be called Tiger Great-grandcubs. Thaler is considered a Tiger Grandcub because he earlier worked for Tiger Cub Chris Shumway, who closed down his firm, Shumway Capital Partners, in early 2011. Shumway earlier worked for Julian Robertson Jr.’s Tiger Management. Connor says in his bio that he was the most profitable analyst at JAT.

“Our portfolio construction is designed to create a balanced portfolio and position us to be opportunistic in noisy and volatile markets,” Connor reportedly wrote in a letter.


Vivint Solar has terminated its controversial planned acquisition by SunEdison. Vivint cites the suitor’s failure to complete the deal by now, adding in a press release, “SunEdison’s failure to consummate the merger…constitutes a willful breach of the merger agreement.” It said it plans to “seek all legal remedies available.”

Appaloosa Management’s David Tepper, who has been lobbying hard against the deal because he felt it would hurt SunEdison’s TerraForm Power, told “This is a good result for TerraForm Power.” The Short Hills, New Jersey hedge fund manager told Bloomberg there is still “good value in an independent TerraForm.”


Tepper has called into question the arm’s length relationship between SunEdison and TerraForm, which is sometimes called a SunEdison yield co that holds a portfolio of wind and solar assets. Shares of SunEdison rose more than 5 percent to close at $2 while TerraForm Power rose nearly 4 percent to close at $10.61.

Jeffrey Smith’s Starboard Value liquidated its entire position in Office Depot. The office products company’s planned merger with Staples continues to drag on amid concerns among anti-trust officials at the Federal Trade Commission. Apparently Smith, who had been urging Staples to do the deal, is not waiting around to see if a deal is eventually approved.


Bank activist Lawrence Seidman, founder of hedge fund firm Seidman & Associates, bought another 100,000 shares in Malvern Bancorp, boosting his stake to 6.91 percent. The Parsippany, New Jersey manager was threatening to withhold his vote for three of the company’s director nominees. Last month Malvern announced that two of the nominees resigned from the boards of directors of Malvern as well as its bank subsidiary, Malvern Federal Savings Bank. Seidman said back then he was “gratified” by the announcement and withdrew his intent to withhold his vote for the third individual and will vote for his re-election.