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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Once Bashful, Hedge Fund Pros Bask in Media Glare

Once Bashful, Hedge Fund Pros Bask in Media Glare

What is making so many big-name hedge fund managers so chatty lately?
There was a time not long ago when even well-known hedge-fund captains – those with enviable portfolio returns, whispered-about personal wealth and reputations for flame-tempered investment brilliance – rarely spoke for the record or appeared publicly. The exclusive nature of their investment vehicles, open only to institutions and “qualified” wealthy individuals, allowed them to disclose little, and most took advantage of this prerogative.
Yet it’s been hard to watch a stretch of financial television in recent months without seeing one or another of these stewards of private capital holding forth on prospects for the world economy, Federal Reserve policy and their own favorite investment positions.
The shrill and sometimes nasty public battle waged on CNBC’s air between Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn, over the merits and demerits of the once-obscure Herbalife Ltd. (HLF), has been the most attention-getting public display of private investors “talking their book” in public, of course.

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