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The Morning Brief: Anand Desai’s Darsana Posts 10% Gain in Q4

Anand Desai’s Darsana Capital Partners staged a heroic rebound in the fourth quarter, posting a 10.2 percent gain for the three-month period. Even so, the New York–based long-short equity firm’s flagship fund just missed finishing in the black, declining 0.4 percent for the year. Desai, a former founding partner of Eton Park Capital Management, posted a gain of 6.8 percent in 2014, his first year in operation. He got off the ground with $1 billion and by the end of his first year had $2.5 billion under management.


Trian Fund Management named Michael White as an advisory partner. White is the former chairman, president and chief executive officer of DIRECTV, former chief executive officer of PepsiCo International and vice chairman of PepsiCo. According to the New York hedge fund firm, the advisory partners provide support to Trian, including by “identifying potential investment opportunities, assisting with due diligence, formulating strategic and operating initiatives for the companies in which Trian invests, and engaging with public company management teams, Boards of Directors, shareholders, and external advisors.” Hmm. I wonder what it has up its sleeve. Remember, Trian has had large positions in PepsiCo and Mondelez International, and in the past Trian has urged Pepsi to buy Mondelez and spin off its beverage business.


Bank activist Lawrence Seidman’s Parsippany, New Jersey-based firm Seidman & Associates announced a settlement with ASB Bancorp, the bank holding company for Asheville Savings Bank in Asheville, North Carolina. The company is a typical Seidman target, with a roughly $100 million market capitalization. Under the deal, Seidman will be joining the board of directors of the parent company and the bank, with his term expiring in 2019. Another Seidman nominee is also being appointed to the two boards, with his term ending in 2018.

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