Currently browsing posts filed under "Andreas Halvorsen ’86"

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Eph Rich List

I will take “News that makes the Development Office happy,” for $200, Alex.

rich_list

These are the top 10 earners on Wall Street. (This is a highly misleading list, as explained here and here.) But it mentions two Ephs, so EphBlog still likes it!

Are there other Ephs on the full list of 25 besides Andreas Halvorsen ’86 and Chase Coleman ’97?

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Study Viking

Here is an interesting presentation of the results/positioning of Viking, the wildly successful hedge fund run by Andreas Halvorsen ’86, Williams trustee and billionaire.

viking

See the link for more details. Comments:

1) The Eph Business Association (EBA) ought to do a better job of forging connections between Williams students and prominent alumni like Halvorsen. (By the way, having talked to some of their leaders, I can confirm that the EBA is an impressive organization. Students with any interest in finance/business ought to join.) One way would be to have a small group that followed each major Eph firm and commented on their public material. EphBlog would be eager to host such a group here.

2) There is a great thesis to be written, in either economics or history, about the rise of Viking, an interesting story in-and-of-itself but also emblematic of the changing landscape of finance over the last 25 years.

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Haste To Be Offended

This post concludes our trip down archive lane, exploring the controversy over the photo on the cover of the Student Telephone Directory in the fall of 1985 using Record coverage from September 17 and 24. Previous posts (1, 2, 3 and 4); on-line Record archive; and key pages (first and second).

To The Editor:

As the advertising editors of this year’s Williams Student Directory, we would like respond briefly to the “Sexism Flourishes” article in last week’s Record. We have no desire to offend anyone nor do we wish to draw this issue out in long debates in the Record as occured once last year. Though we too may question certain aspects of the cover scene, we do hasten to point out that it is the cover designer herself who is portrayed in the photograph and she alone who submitted the cover design.

David Bassett ’87
Rodolfo Ford III ’87
Kenneth Jones ’87

I love it! The woman pictured in the photo selected it for the cover herself. Do you think that Professor Lynda Bundtzen and her co-authors expected that? Recall their complaint:

The pose of the woman, who wears a sweatshirt branded with a bold “Williams” and has her backed turned toward the camera, implies that her body and nothing else is what matters about her. We can’t even see her face to know anything about the person inhabiting the body.

That the picture exploits this woman by displaying her as an object for men is appalling enough, but that it should have found its way onto the cover of the phone directory is doubling appalling. In all likelihood, the picture was taken and chosen in good fun. That being the case cannot excuse that such “fun” is not funny, but instead perpetuates exploitive attitudes and actions toward women.

But if the woman herself chose (and staged?) the picture can she really have meant to imply “that her body and nothing else is what matters about her?” Excellent question! Barring false consciousness — perhaps a more popular concept in the 80’s at Williams than it is today — the woman could not (?) have meant that. Yet it seems reasonable for Bundtzen et al. to believe then, and believe now, that the effect of the image, whatever the intentions of its creator, would be pernicious. Since none of the authors that I have tried to contact, nor the current Women’s Collective at Williams, seem interested in returning my e-mails, we may never know their positions.

The last letter is the one most similar in tone to my own writing at EphBlog.

To The Editor:

Antje Lewis and her friends, in their haste to be offended and appalled at something this year, decided to focus their attention on the phone directory but they made some errors in their interpretation of the cover photo. The picture portrays three men (how she conclusively identified them as Williams men we don’t know) on the sunny shore with not three, but four objects in their possession: a telephone, a beach toy, a pair of flippers, and a Pro Model Turbo Surf Slider. (The fact that Lewis and her buddies could have overlooked the Pro Model Turbo Surf Slider is perhaps the unkindest cut of all, but anyway, back to the story.) There is also an Eph-woman there (Donna Ching ’84, who designed the cover) with three objects in her possession, namely the three men.

The picture shows the woman to have the desirable qualities inherent in all Eph-women — good looks and intelligence — she is the only one of the three with enough brains to be looking at the sea, what else do you go to the beach for? At the same time the picture denigrates all men by portraying them as aimless and without purpose (the beach-bum on the left), childish (the poor guy in the middle holding the toy), and the guy on the right clearly represents all businessmen, past, present, and future (the phone) as hopeless bimbos completely out of touch with what is going on. Why, look at at him, you can’t even see his face behind those sunglasses to know anything about the person inhabiting the body!

This cover implies that the administration condones an attitude toward men as intellectually inferior, which we do not believe to be actually the case. To have to look every day at something, our telephone directory, that so blatantly exploits the men in the Williams College campus is unjust and unnecessary.

Fred Eaton ’86
Peter Dawson ’86
Craig Blackmore ’86
Andreas Halvorsen ’86

1) Now that our readers know all the facts, what say you? Was this photo an appropriate cover image in 1985? Would it be considered an appropriate cover image today?

2) Who were the three men in the photo? Surely history will want to remember their names. They aren’t just good looking Ephs in bathing suits. They are people too!

3) Regular readers will notice that one of the authors of that last letter generates a fair amount of traffic to EphBlog because he is one of the richest Ephs of his generation. Perhaps the Development Office should speak to Admissions about letting in more of the sorts of applicants that have a predilection for mocking campus feminists. Just a thought!

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Viking/Tiger Updates

According to DealBreaker, Andreas Halvorsen’s ’86 Viking Global was up 8.35% on $6.6 billion in assets through July 2. According to Market Folly, Chase Coleman’s ’97 Tiger Global was up 6.8% through March 31 but, probably because of heavy short exposure in financials, down to -8.1% by April 30.

1) Does anyone have a better update on Tiger? If they maintained their financial short, they could be in trouble.

2) Does anyone have copies of their quarterly letters that they would be willing to share with us? Reading Halvorsen’s 3td quarter letter last year was quite educational.

3) What other Ephs work in senior positions in the land of hedge funds? (Others include Bill Goodell ’77 and the Van Ecks.)

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Viking Letter

Via Dealbreaker, here is the 3rd quarter letter from Andreas Halvorsen’s ’86 hedge fund, Viking Global Investors. This confirms our earlier report that Viking was flat for the year through September 30th, a stunning performance in this market. Has anyone seen an investor letter from Chase Coleman’s ’97 Tiger Global?

Halvorsen’s letter makes for interesting reading. Professionals are welcome to comment and amateurs to ask questions.

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Stuff Happens

There seems to be stuff going on in the global financial markets. I don’t follow this topic that closely, so who knows? Anyway, Dealbreaker provides some rumors on the performance of the two largest Eph-connected hedge funds: Andreas Halvorsen’s ’86 Viking and Chase Coleman’s ’97 Tiger Global.

Viking
Sept 08
-7.90%
YTD
+0.30%

Tiger Global
Sept 08
-14.30%
YTD
-13.70%

Do any of the other funds listed have significant Eph connections?

For Viking to be flat year-to-date is a stunning achievement in this environment, especially after making 40% in 2007. Even Tiger is doing much better than many other large hedge funds. If we combine 2007 and 2008, then both Halvorsen and Coleman have done remarkably well.

But there is a long way to go before December 31 . . .

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Decent Year for Two Ephs

Eph alums (and hedge fund superstars) Andreas Halvorsen ’86 and Chase Coleman ’97 had pretty decent years in 2007, making $520 million and $400 million respectively. Of course, next to the $3.7 billion John Paulson made, that is mere pocket change.

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Eph Viking: Andreas Halvorsen ’86

You would think that someone as Eph-focussed and finance-savvy as me would know about most of the most successful Ephs on Wall Street. You would be wrong! A commentator mentioned that Andreas Halvorsen of Viking Global Investors (love the longboat symbol) is an Eph. Indeed, he is a member of the class of 1986 and the Williams ski team. Comments:

1) Background from 2001.

Fronting the offices of Viking Global Investors high above Park Avenue is a solid, 12-foot-wide wall of clear glass. Still, no matter how you position yourself, the inner workings of the hedge fund are invisible. No chance sightings of Andreas Halvorsen, 39, the chisel-featured Norwegian chief investment officer, or one of the other two partners, David Ott, 37, or Brian Olson, 35–the three former Tiger cubs who run the fund.

There’s considerable buzz within the industry that Viking, cloaked in secrecy, is one of the hottest funds around. But sources say the most auspicious fact about the $2 billion fund is that it was up 89% last year after fees. That’s killer performance in light of 2000’s dismal stock market. Viking, a long-short equity fund that primarily invests in the U.S. and Europe, employs a ”bottom-up” fundamental stock-picking strategy. It focuses on financials, telecommunications, media, technology, and consumer stocks. The fund’s nine analysts meet with some 1,000 companies a year. ”Their core strength is that they’re fantastic business analysts. They can really determine good companies from bad,” says an investor.

Viking’s principals learned their stock-picking skills from Tiger Management Corp., where Halvorsen worked for seven years and was director of global equities his last three. Halvorsen, Ott, and Olson all left Tiger in early 1999, more than a year before the fund imploded. ”They had pretty good timing,” says a source. Each considered starting his own hedge fund until Halvorsen contacted them and suggested they try a team approach. Since Viking was launched in October, 1999, they have recruited 15 of their former Tiger colleagues. Their investors include ”very sophisticated businesspeople who can provide insight in the areas in which they invest,” says an insider.

Making 89% in 2000 is, uh, pretty good. I should spend more time working on my portfolio and less time blogging. You can be sure that the assets flowed in after a year like that.

2) For 2004, Bloomberg reported that

One fund that trailed competitors was Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global Equities Fund, which climbed 7.6 percent last year. Halvorsen, who, like Ainslie, came from Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management, founded Greenwich, Connecticut-based Viking Global Investors in 1999 and the firm now manages $3.5 billion. Halvorsen has averaged annual returns of about 25 percent since then.

So, Vikings’ assets did increase from 2000 to 2004 but not by as much as one would have thought. If the fund was up 89% in 2000 and is only up an annualized 25% for the five years from 2000 through 2004, then years 2001 — 2004 were not that good. Exercise for the reader: What were Viking’s returns for those four years and how do they compare to the S&P. (It’s not clear if Viking uses, or should use, the S&P 500 as a benchmark.)

2) After that rough patch, Halvorsen did well for his investors and himself. (If we have any Viking investors among our readers, please give us the details.) In 2006, Halvorsen’s estimated income around $75-100 million.

3) How did Halvorsen do in 2007? Not bad, just #20 on the Trader Monthly 100.

Andreas Halvorsen
City: Greenwich, Connecticut
Firm: Viking Global Investors
Age: 47
Estimated Income: $350–$400 million

Right now, it seems, having once traded at Tiger Management is a license to pillage. The quick rundown on Halvorsen’s Viking quest in 2007: victory! Featuring returns of 40.6 percent in the Viking Global Equities III Ltd. — which was short financials and long India — as well as a pile of 2-and-20 assets now north of $10 billion and a newly launched fund, in 2007 VGI stood for very good indeed.

Love the Entourage reference! Trader Monthly readily admits that they are only estimating annual incomes, but there is no doubt that Halvorsen is one of the richest self-made Ephs of his generation. If he hasn’t already gotten an invitation to be on the Board of Trustees at Williams, he will get one soon. He already serves as an adviser (pdf) to the endowment.

4) Alas, wealth brings problems of its own.

Hedge funds have been producing nasty legal battles for years, and a couple of recent spats seem to be coming to a head. One involves Viking Global, whose lead partners, Andreas Halvorsen and David Ott, are facing a claim from an ex-partner, Brian Olson, that he was wrongfully discharged from the firm three years ago. Halvorsen and Ott say he left on his own.

The trio formed Viking in 1999 after leaving Tiger. Assets are now $10 billion, and majority owner Halvorsen is one of the richest traders in the world. Which is why it made sense for him to try to settle, right? Well, Olson wouldn’t budge, demanding his fair share and laying claim to his stake. He has since filed a new complaint that names all of his former shipmates. A trial could happen later this year, according to a source in the Delaware chancery court clerk’s office.

Perhaps one of our lawyer Eph friends could provide links to the documents for this case.

5) Is it just me or do lots of the richest self-made Ephs of recent years seem to be athletes who played preppy sports at Williams? Besides Halvorsen, we also have Bo Peabody ’94 of Village Ventures (skiing), Chase Coleman ’97 of Tiger Global (lacrosse), Mayo Shattuck ’76 (tennis) and Richard Georgi ’87 of Grove Investors (skiing). I think that several of these Ephs were captains of their teams.

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