This content is from: Portfolio

The Morning Brief: Dominique Strauss-Kahn Enters Hedge Fund Fray

Dominique Strauss-Kahn is back in the news. The former International Monetary Fund chief and presidential front-runner in France, who in December 2012 settled a lawsuit with a New York hotel chambermaid over sexual assault allegations, is looking to raise $2 billion for a new macro hedge fund. Strauss-Kahn will manage the fund with his daughter, Vanessa Strauss-Kahn, an economist. “China plays and will play a predominant role in this fund,” Mohamad Zeidan, chief operating officer of Strauss-Kahn’s firm, LSK & Partners, told Reuters. They are awaiting regulatory approval from Luxemburg before they can begin raising money, according to the report. “We have met with the largest groups in each sector and I’m talking to the financial sector, insurance companies, bankers, financial groups, private and public,” Zeidan told the wire service.

New York–based hedge fund firm Starboard Value, which owns 5.5 percent of Darden Restaurants, filed a Definitive Solicitation Statement asking Darden to call a special shareholder meeting. The activist investment firm has been campaigning against Darden’s plan to spin off its Red Lobster chain. It wants shareholders to vote on a nonbinding resolution that would in effect tell Darden’s management not to move ahead with the spin-off.

More than one-third (35 percent) of North American and European hedge funds have changed their service providers in the past year, according to a new survey from Preqin. According to the London-based collector of data on alternative investments, 55 percent of firms from Asia and other non-European or North American countries changed these providers, which include fund administrators, prime brokers, custodians, auditors or law firms. Preqin noted that fund administrators and prime brokers are the most frequently switched providers.

In addition, dissatisfaction with the quality of service provided was the reason most commonly given by fund managers for changing their service providers. SS&C GlobeOp was most frequently singled out among funds which launched in 2013 for administration services. Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs were the most commonly used prime brokers by funds launched in 2013, each representing 19 percent of funds launched in 2013.

Fannie Mae surged nearly 7 percent while Freddie Mac jumped more than 7.5 percent on Thursday, as the stocks try to battle back from their huge earlier sell-off.

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