Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of occasional columns on hedge fund news, trends and gossip by Emma Trincal, TheStreet.com's hedge fund reporter.Fall is approaching, and with the new season comes some notable hedge fund launches. The highest-profile debuts continue to be in strategies that employ shareholder activism. Bob Chapman, the well-known activist who took a sabbatical last year, is readying a fund for launch in January. Another is the soon-to-be launch is RLR Partners, a new activist vehicle based in New York, headed by Robert Rosen, according to industry officials. With Carl Icahn's run at Time Warner ( TWX) grabbing headlines and Ed Lampert's work at Sears Holdings ( SHLD) the stuff of legend, activism is enjoying a golden age. One thing driving the enthusiasm is the large amounts of cash that many companies are carrying on their balance sheets. The sums are tempting to managers dreaming of stock buybacks and other shareholder-friendly moves. The strategy's proliferation causes a snowball effect, too: the more activists there are, they more power they can wield as groups.