The Morning Brief: Total Hedge Fund Assets Rise in Q4

Total global hedge fund capital rose by $22.8 billion in the fourth quarter, to $2.90 trillion, according to the latest report from Chicago-based data tracker Hedge Fund Research. However, all of the gain is due to performance, as the industry suffered net capital outflow of $1.52 billion in the December period, the industry’s first quarterly net outflow since the first quarter of 2011.

Once again the biggest firms took in most of the inflows. Firms with more than $5 billion in assets received $3.2 billion in inflows in the fourth quarter. On the other hand, investors yanked $2.8 billion from firms managing between $1 billion to $5 billion and withdrew $1.9 billion from firms with less than $1 billion in the fourth quarter. For all of 2015, firms with greater than $5 billion brought in $31.2 billion, firms managing between $1 billion to $5 billion received $6 billion and those with less than $1 billion received inflows of $6.5 billion. Macro and CTA hedge funds led inflows in the fourth quarter among all strategies. Event driven and fixed income-based relative value arbitrage strategies suffered capital outflows in the fourth quarter but enjoyed net inflows for the full year.


Bank activist Lawrence Seidman has disclosed a new target. The Parsippany, New Jersey fund manager and founder of Seidman & Associates, which specializes in small community banks, said in a regulatory filing that he leads a group that owns 5.39 percent of Malvern Bancorp, a Paoli, Pennsylvania firm with seven locations. The stock has a market capitalization of $105 million. Keep in mind that Malvern president and chief executive officer Anthony Weagley was the president and chief executive officer of Center Bancorp before it merged with ConnectOne Bancorp in July 2014. Seidman was a member of the board of directors of Center Bancorp, and he was part of a group that owned 23.4 percent of the bank holding company’s shares.

In the new filing, Seidman says he supports actions Weagley has taken since becoming president and CEO in 2014. He calls Weagley “a highly competent banking executive who will continue to create value” for shareholders. However, he says he plans to withhold support for the three director nominees proposed for election at the upcoming annual meeting. Seidman also calls on the board to eliminate its staggered board so all directors can be elected annually beginning in 2017.


Carlson Capital boosted its stake in Forestar Group to 8.61 percent and has threatened to launch a proxy fight with the real estate and natural resources company. In a regulatory filing, the Dallas-based hedge fund firm says it initially acquired its shares for investment purposes and had no plans to change or influence management. However, it says after holding discussions with management related to the business, operations, governance, management, strategy and future plans, it thinks a change in the board of directors “may be in the best interest of all stockholders.” Carlson says it may nominate one or more candidates for election to the board at the company’s 2016 annual meeting.


The British pound share class of London-based hedge fund giant Brevan Howard Asset Management’s BH Macro Fund is down just 0.46 percent through January 15. It invests substantially all of its capital in the firm’s flagship Brevan Howard Master Fund.