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The Hedge Fund Report: Bitten by the Activist Bug

Leaving the Fold

With about $10 billion under management, Citadel Investment Group is another giant fund complex. It's not easy to leave Citadel, a nest of talented minds where the noncompete agreement lasts a year or more, by some estimates.

Anyone walking away from the fortress is certain to be noticed, and that's the case with Alec Litowitz, Citadel's former head of risk arbitrage and an event-driven expert. According to investors familiar with his upcoming fund, Litowitz left Citadel more than a year ago and has kept out of the market since then. He is now back preparing a new fund called Magnatar, which will operate out of Chicago. Litowitz's fund is expected to be a big startup with potentially $1 billion to $2 billion raised at launch, says one executive.

Elsewhere, Chris Chambers, CEO of Man Investments, the alternative investment division of the Man Group, stepped down this week. He will be replaced by Man Investments' head of marketing and client services, John Morrison. This is not a small move. Chambers' division manages $43 billion, and Man, along with UBS, is one of the largest hedge fund of funds in the world. Chambers not only stepped down as a CEO but also as a director of Man Group. The Financial Times wrote that Chambers had been overshadowed by Man Group's CEO Stanley Fink and Chairman Harvey McGrath, an assertion strongly denied by a Man Group spokesman in London.

Meanwhile, Man Group is mulling the sale of Man Financial, its brokerage arm. The company is considering the option but nothing has been decided yet, according to its spokesman.

Geac Squad

An interesting proxy battle erupted recently between Eric Rosenfeld, manager of the activist Crescendo Partners, and Geac Computer (GEAC), a Canadian software company with $870 million in market capitalization that trades on both the Toronto Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.

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