This content is from: Portfolio

The Morning Brief: Sachem Head Wins Autodesk Board Seat

Autodesk named three new directors to its board under a settlement reached with two New York hedge fund firms, Sachem Head Capital Management and Eminence Capital. One of the three directors will be Scott Ferguson, managing partner of Sachem Head, who will also become a member of the board’s compensation and human resources committee. The other two new directors are Rick Hill, chairman of Tessera Technologies, and Jeff Clarke, chief executive officer of Kodak. Under the deal, Eminence and Sachem Head will no longer file as a group. Shares of the maker of 3-D design software rose 1.18 percent on Friday, less than the overall market. But they are still down nearly 15 percent from their high in early December. Eminence teamed up with Sachem Head in its activist campaign back in November.

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Jeffrey Ubben’s ValueAct Capital sold 750,000 shares of Motorola Solutions for $71.03 per share on March 10. The sale is part of a new 10b-5 trading plan set up for the San Francisco hedge fund firm so it can unload up to 2 million shares through no later than May 10, 2016, according to a regulatory filing. The latest sale brings ValueAct’s stake in the telecommunications company to 5.9 percent.

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More heavy bleeding from high-profile hedge fund firms. Larry Robbins’ Glenview Capital Partners, managed by New York-based Glenview Capital Management, fell nearly 2 percent in February and is now down more than 15 percent for the first two months of the year. It lost more than 18 percent last year.

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Leon Cooperman’s Omega Overseas Partners, managed by New York-based Omega Advisors, was flat last month. But the New York long-short fund is still down about 10 percent for the year after losing more than 10 percent last year.

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The hedge fund industry posted a small, 0.25 percent aggregate return in February, its first profitable month after three straight losses, according to eVestment. The data collector points out that a little more than half of all hedge funds posted a profit in February. In January just 28 percent of the funds made money. As we earlier reported, the biggest winners in February were managed futures funds, while credit funds extended their losses. For the year to date, eVestment’s hedge fund aggregate index is down 2.36 percent.

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SunEdison has changed chief financial officers. The embattled renewable energy company — a big investment for several hedge fund firms — announced that Ilan Daskal will take over the position by April 4. He will replace Brian Wuebbels, who will focus full time as president and chief executive officer of TerraForm Power and TerraForm Global, SunEdison’s two so-called yield cos. Daskal is currently the interim chief financial officer of Aricent, a product engineering services company, and a board member and chairman of the audit committee of Ixia, a provider of network testing, visibility, and security solutions. Shares of SunEdison surged 6.67 percent on Friday.

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