Hedge fund managers now comfortable in spotlight
There once was a day when hedge funds managers preferred privacy to public renown.
In fact, seeking the limelight was seen as somewhat tacky. But that has changed in a big way over the past few years. These days, hedge fund managers seem to relish the spotlight. Some have become adept at using that spotlight to maximum advantage.
"The shrill and sometimes nasty public battle waged on CNBC's air between Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn over the merits and demerits of the once-obscure Herbalife Ltd. has, of course, been the most attention-getting public display of private investors 'talking their book' in public," notes Unexpected Returns. "Yet well before this clash surfaced, an increasing number of once-camera-shy investors had begun making more of a habit of opining for a broad audience."
The article notes some examples, such as David Tepper, founder of the $16 billion Appaloosa Management, David Einhorn, of Greenlight Capital, Kyle Bass, of Hayman Capital, and even Ray Dalio, who it notes as "something of a cult figure as head of Bridgewater Associates, the world's largest hedge-fund firm. In recent months he has "laid out his macroeconomic outlook in magazines and on TV for an eager investing populace."
There are a host of reasons for the trend, including the desire to publicly brand their funds and themselves, the need to make a case for their positions and the need for more transparency, to avoid being seen in the same ilk as the once-incredibly-secretive Steven Cohen of SAC Capital. His shadowy image may have created an aura of mistrust around him and his firm. Even he had opened up a bit before the investigations started to hit closer to home.
My sense is that hedge funds need to take PR and brand-building much more seriously. You can't run a businesses without having these angles covered these days.
- here's the article