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The Morning Brief: Barington Capital Group Raises Money for New Fund

James Mitarotonda’s Barington Capital Group is raising money for a new hedge fund. The New York-based activist investment firm has launched Barington SPV II, which is a special-purpose vehicle, according to a regulatory filing. It is not clear whether Mitarotonda has a specific targeted investment in mind for the money he raises. The minimum investment is $250,000, according to the filing.

Barington is not as well known as other activist firms, even though it was launched in 2000. However, it played a slightly more public role than usual supporting New York-based activist firm Starboard Value’s proxy fight with Darden Restaurants. Other well-known companies it has invested in over the years include Lone Star Steakhouse, Dillard’s, Warnaco, The Jones Group, Pep Boys, Steven Madden and Nautica.

In 2013 Barington SPV I invested in Jones Group, known for its portfolio of more than 100 brands, including Jones New York Apparel, Stuart Weitzman luxury shoes, Nine West and Jessica Simpson apparel. Mitarotonda helped convince the company to shed dozens of less prominent brands, and after being named to the board, helped eventually to bring in Sycamore Partners to buy the company for $1.2 billion, or $15 per share.

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New York-based hedge fund firm Two Sigma Advisors has raised $3.3 billion for a new macro hedge fund, according to Bloomberg. The computer-driven fund will invest in a wide variety of instruments, including stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities, drawing on macroeconomic data and trends. At the beginning of the year, the firm had $17.5 billion under management, ranking number 25 on the Alpha Hedge Fund 100 ranking.

The firm was founded in 2001 by David Siegel and John Overdeck, who previously worked at Tudor Invesment Corp. and D.E. Shaw & Co., respectively. Its Two Sigma Compass Cayman Fund had gained about 16.6 percent through September after gaining 14 percent last year, according to a document from investment bank HSBC that contains hedge fund performance data. The smaller Two Sigma Absolute Return Fund is up 6.29 percent through September, while Two Sigma Horizon Cayman is up nearly 8 percent.

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As we have pointed out on several occasions, many macro funds are having a rough time this year, posting sizable losses in the past month alone. According to the latest HSBC scorecard, Andrew Law’s Caxton Global Investments, managed by New York-based Caxton Associates, was down 5.60 percent this month through October 28, bringing its loss for the year to 7.83 percent.

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