Dan Loeb Takes “Proxy Fight” To Moms At Condo Pool


When he wasn’t battling corporate boards for control, Dan Loeb, among an elite group of successful activist hedge fund managers, took his “proxy fight” activity home to his celebrated Central Park West condominium building to battle with moms for control over the swimming pool temperature.

Triathlete Loeb likes pool temperature cold

Loeb, 52, founder of activist hedge fund Third Point and one of the wealthiest hedge fund managers with a net worth estimated at $2.2 billion, is known to be a focused tri-athlete who likes the pool temperatures cold.   The moms at Fifteen Central Park West, and more importantly their kids, like the pool temperature in the 75-foot lap pool a little warmer.

“Proxy fight” taken to moms

The kids be damned!  In the middle of a proxy fight to shake up the board of directors at Sotheby’s, the venerable New York City auction house, and just after a successful campaign for a leadership change at Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), netting him a small fortune, Loeb took time out to challenge the moms with a vote in the prestigious condominium building.  According to the book “House of Outrageous Fortune: Fifteen Central Park West, the World’s Most Powerful Address,” the vote was taken – and the condo residents sided with the moms and their kids, handing Loeb a rare loss.

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Unknown, but doubtful, if tactics in condo got as personal as with corporate board

In his proxy fight with Sothebys (NYSE:BID), Loeb’s tactics got personal – as is increasingly the trend among activist investors.  In the latest barb, Loeb’s legal team said “Sothebys (NYSE:BID) board showed its disdain for shareholders and accountability and proved that its goal continues to be entrenchment over the interests of its owners,” as exclusively reported in ValueWalk.  It is unclear if he used similar tactics in the vote at Fifteen Central Park West.

In a review of the book, Booklist described the condo building and its residents: “Fifteen Central Park West is the New Gilded Age address of a new generation of moguls enjoying the costliest real estate in an enclave of international wealth from the worlds of finance, technology, information, and entertainment.”  The residence includes celebrity tenants such as Sting and Denzel Washington as well as top executives from Goldman Sachs, Google and Yahoo.

The issue was first reported in Business Insider by Julia La Roche.

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Mark Melin is an alternative investment practitioner whose specialty is recognizing a trading program’s strategy and mapping it to a market environment and performance driver. He provides analysis of managed futures investment performance and commentary regarding related managed futures market environment. A portfolio and industry consultant, he was an adjunct instructor in managed futures at Northwestern University / Chicago and has written or edited three books, including High Performance Managed Futures (Wiley 2010) and The Chicago Board of Trade’s Handbook of Futures and Options (McGraw-Hill 2008). Mark was director of the managed futures division at Alaron Trading until they were acquired by Peregrine Financial Group in 2009, where he was a registered associated person (National Futures Association NFA ID#: 0348336). Mark has also worked as a Commodity Trading Advisor himself, trading a short volatility options portfolio across the yield curve, and was an independent consultant to various broker dealers and futures exchanges, including OneChicago, the single stock futures exchange, and the Chicago Board of Trade. He is also Editor, Opalesque Futures Intelligence and Editor, Opalesque Futures Strategies. - Contact: Mmelin(at)valuewalk.com

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