NEW YORK, April 17 Billionaire hedge fund
manager Daniel Loeb has canceled plans to speak at an investor
conference in Washington D.C. on Thursday after certain pension
funds threatened to confront him at the event.
Loeb said his appearance at the event was derailed by "false
reports" on his position on defined benefit (DB) pension funds
for teachers, according to a letter reviewed by Reuters.
Loeb, the founder of New York-based $11.6 billion Third
Point, was scheduled to speak at the Spring conference of the
Council of Institutional Investors (CII) on Thursday morning on
a panel about hedge funds and corporate governance.
However, due to growing tensions over his alleged position
on defined benefit pension plans, he pulled out on Wednesday.
"Over the past week, incorrect statements about my position
on the issue of Defined Benefit Pension Plans ("DB Plans") have
been made in conjunction with my planned appearance at CII's
conference," Loeb said in a letter addressed to Anne Sheehan,
the Chair of CII dated April 17. "I have never taken a position
against DB Plans nor has any philanthropic organization I lead."
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has taken issue
with Loeb as he is on the board of an organization called
StudentsFirstNY, which AFT says wants to get rid of defined
benefit plans for teachers.
"My support for and contribution to DB Plans is demonstrated
by maximizing returns for union members who rely on us to
deliver their pension goals," Loeb said in the letter.
Loeb, who is one of the more than $2 trillion hedge fund
industry's best known names, manages money for several public
pension funds, as well as other institutional investors and high
net worth clients.
In a statement, Sheehan said she regrets but understands
Loeb's decision to cancel.