Hennesseein' Ain't Believin'The Bayou Management scandal continues to resonate weeks after the hedge fund's managers
River BattleIn London, as in New York, big demand for alternative-asset managers has powerhouses consolidating or poaching talent from their competitors. Thames River, one such titan, with $7.2 billion under management, has entered the fray, nabbing Glyn Jones as its CEO. Jones is CEO of a big rival, Gartmore Investment Management, an alternative-investment franchise with $8 billion under management. A lot of times, these powerhouses want to build large multistrategy boutiques. They need the expertise of talented generalists capable of understanding both hedge funds and funds of funds, which are apples and oranges. Jones fits that generalist profile. At Gartmore, he was overseeing a portfolio of not just hedge fund assets but also private equity. While the bulk of Thames River's business is in hedge funds, the firm also runs a $500 million fund of funds.
Heavy LiftingPardus Capital Management, a hedge fund that owns 14.4% of Bally Total Fitness ( BFT), is pushing hard for changes. In a recent 13D filing, the activist manager says that it wants to increase its position to more than 15% of the gym-operator's shares. It also wants to participate in "strategic alternatives" including a sale or all or part of the business or new issuance of stocks or bonds. Unfortunately for the fund, Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law is in the way. The law blocks any shareholder owning more than 15% of the shares from engaging in these strategic changes without obtaining first the permission of the board. Pardus, as a result, wants management to waive the application of Section 203. Good luck!