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Paulson investors cruise the Seine at Paris bash

June 09, 2011   Suzy Kenly Waite

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The event, which was for all of Paulson & Co.’s investors, featured keynote presentations by the chief of Renault and a former SEC chairman.

Photo: Yachts de Paris

John Paulson’s annual midyear investor event, held this week on June 7-8 in Paris, featured notable speakers, workshops on the firm’s major strategies and a dinner cruise on the Seine.

Unlike the firm’s recent soiree in Las Vegas, which was held solely for investors in his Advantage funds, this event was open to any anyone invested in the $37.5 billion firm.

Paulson opened the event on Tuesday evening at the Pavillion Cambon Capucines, a venue frequently used by the fashion industry (Chanel hosted its Spring-Summer Chanel Couture show there in January). After an hour-long session in which Paulson gave his outlook on the markets ( which hasn't changed), he hosted a cocktail hour, which was followed by a dinner and keynote speech by Carols Ghosn, chairman and chief executive of French automaker Renault.

On Wednesday, investors converged on the Palais Brongniart (also known as the Le Palais de la Bourse, the former stock exchange, which hosted the EuroHedge Paris Summit in May). The day’s events included workshops for investors on credit, gold and mergers. Harvey Pitt, former chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, gave the lunchtime keynote speech. The evening reception and dinner were served aboard Excellence, a 174-foot yacht managed by Yachts de Paris, on the River Seine.

The trip was doubtless smoother than Paulson’s performance this year. The firm’s flagship Paulson Advantage Fund, an event arbitrage strategy, dropped 4.07% in May, leaving it down 5.31% for the year. The Paulson Advantage Plus, a levered version, dropped 6.11% in May, bringing it to 7.85% this year. Paulson warned of turbulence at his Vegas event earlier this year.

The firm’s other strategies remain in positive territory for the year, despite losing money in May. Paulson Partners, the merger arbitrage strategy, is up 6.64% through May, and Paulson Credit Opportunities is up 7.98%. Paulson & Co. declined to comment.

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