BOSTON Jan 2 Activist investor and hedge fund
manager Daniel Loeb beat most rivals hands down last year as his
flagship fund kept pace with a rallying U.S. stock market and
returned 25.2 percent in 2013.
Loeb's $14 billion firm, Third Point, has been one of the
industry's best performers for several years now thanks to bets
on Greek bonds, Japan's economic recovery and blue-chip U.S.
He told investors late on Thursday that his Third Point
Offshore fund gained 2.3 percent in December, according to a
client who received the performance update.
His smaller Third Point Ultra fund, which uses borrowed
money to boost returns, fared even better, gaining 3.4 percent
last month to end the year up 37.9 percent, the client said.
The figures were above the 6.5 percent global average return
of hedge funds in 2013 and were in line with the Standard &
Poor's 500 Index which climbed 29.6 percent, the index's
strongest annual return since 1997.
Loeb, who most helped install Marissa Mayer as CEO at Yahoo
and is currently trying to overhaul auction house
Sotheby's, did not specify the investments that powered
his strong returns.
While Loeb often employs a go-anywhere trading strategy,
last year the bulk of his bets were on large U.S. stocks in the
last month, he told clients.
Loeb is expected to give more details on his portfolio when
he releases his fourth quarter letter to investors in the next
At the end of the third quarter, Loeb's three largest
positions included Yahoo, American International Group
and Sotheby's. He was also invested in FedEx Corp and
said in November that he had taken a stake in Japan's Softbank
For Third Point, 2013 marks an even better year than 2012
when the fund gained 21.1 percent and the Third Point Ultra fund
rose 33.5 percent.
Since launching the flagship fund in 1996, Loeb has
delivered average annual returns of 21.3 percent. During that
time the broader stock market has gained 9 percent.
Loeb has recently turned away clients and is now even
returning some capital to existing investors, saying his fund
should not grow much beyond $14 billion because it would be
tough to invest the additional money.
While Third Point rose by double digits, many other hedge
funds struggled last year, failing to fully participate in the
U.S. stock market's rally.