One year ago
Kristin Davis, the infamous Manhattan madam to former New
York Gov. Elliott Spitzer, told AR about her
background in one of the world's newest professions. Before
being convicted of promoting prostitution, Davis spent nearly a
back office work for now-shuttered Brookhaven Capital
Management, Conifer Securities and Hemisphere Management.
Later in life, she added, her escort agency had numerous
hedge fund clients. "I spoke with a many of them on the phone
when I booked their appointments. I talked shop with them and a
few of them offered me jobs at their firms," she said. "I told
them they couldn't afford me."
At the time, Davis was running for governor of New York
backed by the Anti Prohibition Party, and had a surprisingly
serious platform amid such competitors as Jimmy McMillan of The
Rent Is Too Damn High party. In the November 2010 election,
however, she picked up only 0.5% of the vote, falling short not
only of winner Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, but McMillan and
Charles Barron of the Freedom Party.
Manhattan madam in book stores now
Warren Buffett chose Todd Combs, the largely unknown
manager of a small Greenwich, Conn., hedge fund, to manage a
large chunk of Berkshire Hathaway's roughly $100 billion
Combs, 40, had run Castle Point Capital Management, a
financials-focused equity fund that was having a
difficult year at the time. The $405 million fund was down
3.93% through the end of Sept. 2010, after being up 6.23% in
2009 and down 5.68% in 2008. Buffett said that Combs was not
chosen only for his portfolio prowess, but because his
low-key personality and value-investment focus was a good
fit for the company.
Castle Point immediately announced plans to liquidate.
The firm filed its last quarterly 13F form in November
2010. A phone call to its former offices rang unanswered.
Five years ago
Perella Weinberg Partners prepared to launch a hedge fund
to invest in clean-water technology and infrastructure.
The bank hired Rod Parsley, a former McKinsey consultant
who previously ran a $50 million water fund at Terrapin Asset
Management, to manage the portfolio.
The Perella Weinberg Sustainable Resources fund now manages
$200 million, and Parsley remains optimistic on opportunities
in the sector. "In the midst of this long-term bullish trade
based on finite resources, there is considerable disruption in
the form of regulatory and technological changes,"
he told AR in September. "Governments like to get
involved in sectors they view as critical, creating short-term
trading and relative-value opportunities based on changes in
Returns have been whipsawed along with the broader market.
The fund lost 8.33% in August and 6.66% in September,
leaving it down 6.12% for the year, compared with a 5.97% drop
HFI Global Equity Index.