Hedge Fund Maguire
Hedge Fund Maguire | Letter to Hedge Funds
(http://HedgeFundBlogger.com) Below is a short excerpt from the NY Post and their comments on a letter which Sandra Manzke sent out earlier this week regarding the recent actions of many desperate hedge fund managers. If anyone has the full version of this letter please shoot it over or post it below. For now here is an excerpt of the review article:
Fed up with misbehavior in the hedge-fund industry, respected hedge fund investor Sandra Manzke is fighting back.
A pioneer in hedge-fund investing and best known for founding Tremont Capital Management, Manzke sent an angry missive to hundreds of her peers earlier this week, calling on them to join together to push for reform in the $1.5 trillion industry.
"I am appalled and disgusted by the activities of a number of hedge-fund managers," said the letter, which raises a fist against what Manzke sees as a general degradation of ethics in the industry.
The letter, reminiscent of the way in which Tom Cruise's Hollywood agent character penned a manifesto blasting his cutthroat industry in the hit movie "Jerry Maguire," comes amid a historic shakeout of this once-lucrative business. Hedge funds are battling the double blows of poor performance - down an average of 20 percent so far this year - and billions in investor withdrawals, known as redemptions. Read more...
Here is the actual letter:
MAXAM Capital Management LLC
RE: AN IMPORTANT LETTER TO HEDGE FUND INVESTORS
I was one of the earliest investors in hedge funds. I made my first investment in 1985 when the industry was exclusive to the United States and there were only 68 funds in existence. As such, I have watched the industry grow from a small private investment club to its current state managing in excess of a trillion dollars with more than 10,000 funds. I was an early proponent of the fund of funds business which enabled smaller investors the ability to access the talent pool, and gain diversification with lower minimum investment. I once was proud of the industry, now I am concerned.
While we all recognize the difficulties of the current market environment, I am appalled and disgusted by the activities of a number of hedge fund managers. The increased use of gating, side pocketing, suspension of redemptions, failure to post an NAV, fund liquidations that favor management are just a few of activities that are giving this industry a bad name. Worse, there are managers who are attempting to get their money out ahead of investors, attempts to eliminate high water marks, asking investors to increase fees to pay for fund expenses, receiving fees on liquidating funds, receiving fees on illiquid securities, and mispricing their books.
We have seen funds which claimed to have no leverage, in fact, facing margin calls that wipe out capital. And managers who have received millions of dollars in incentive fees, walking away and leaving investors with nothing. Further, management fees have crept up to outrageous levels and hedge fund organizations are paying employees lucrative wages, while investors are bearing these costs, unjustified by mounting losses.
I was in favor of SEC registration and oversight and 2008 is certainly a poster child for the need for better regulation. Now, I feel that investors need to form an organization to protect against the egregious hedge fund manager. Hedge fund managers do not disclose their investors and we are each operating in a vacuum. We should be able to unite to change how this industry operates. I am proposing that we form the “Hedge Fund Investors United Forum” to propose reform in the industry that would protect our clients’ and our own interests.
Carl Icahn has started his shareholders group to change the behavior of corporate America. I urge everyone to go to his blog and join, because corporate America has lost its way. Corporate management needs to get back to running companies to make money for shareholders, not for personal gain. We need to get hedge fund managers to work for their investors and not for their personal gain.
As a group we can influence the future of the industry. We can start to define neutrally beneficial terms, not punitive investor terms. If we want to survive, we have to restore confidence and reshape the industry. I am not saying everyone out there is a bad apple, but there are too many bad apples for my taste and it only takes a few to bring the industry to its knees.
If you are interested in joining with me to bring reform to this industry, please email me and together we can start the process.
With great concern,
Sandra L. Manzke
Chief Executive Officer