Morning Brief: Marcato Loses Deckers Proxy Contest

December 15, 2017   Michelle Celarier

Mick McGuire’s contentious battle over the future of the UGGs boots maker fails to win him board seats.

Mick McGuire’s Marcato Capital Management has lost its battle for three board seats at Deckers Outdoor Corp. "We are very pleased with the outcome of today’s vote," Goleta, California based-Deckers said in a December 14 statement announcing that its nine director nominees appeared to have won the proxy contest. "Today’s outcome reaffirms that we are on the right track." The stock dropped 5.4 percent on December 14 to close at $74.15.

McGuire, in a statement following the vote, said a lot of work remains for Deckers, the owner of UGGs boots. "We continue to believe that the status quo at Deckers is unacceptable and the Board must take meaningful steps to avoid repeating its many historical failures," he said. "We are pleased to have served as a positive change agent and believe our involvement has created significant value for all stockholders."

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In a week when the first exchange-traded future on Bitcoin led to even more interest in the cryptocurrency, Bridgewater Associates’ founder Ray Dalio reminded his followers on LinkedIn that he’s a skeptic by reposting an interview he did with the Milken Institute. "Right now it’s not an effective medium of exchange," he said in the interview. "And it’s not an effective storehold of wealth" either, both of which are the classic definitions of a currency, he added. Dalio also questioned the sophistication of some Bitcoin investors, saying the digital currency has "bubble characteristics" because naive people are buying it as it moves up in price.

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Government pension schemes in England and Wales are investing more in hedge funds, according to a Reuters report December 14. A Reuters survey found that the market value of hedge fund investments by the 10 largest local government pension plans in England and Wales rose by a third to 2.2 billion pounds ($2.9 billion) in the year through March. These 10 plans control about 100 billion pounds, with 2.3 percent of their assets invested in hedge funds, up from 2.1 percent a year earlier.

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Swedish hedge fund Peak Asset Management is eyeing the depressed housing market, according to a Bloomberg report. Per Djerf, co-founder and chief investment officer at the Stockholm-based firm, told Bloomberg that Peak is looking at "developers that have come under pressure since housing prices have started to fall." He said it may be a bit early, but "we’re looking at what could be the next interesting sector in the Nordics."


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